GENEVA / SYRIA HUMANITARIAN UPDATE

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24-Feb-2020 00:02:09
Around a million civilians in northwest Syria could face “a real bloodbath, a real massacre” amid an ongoing push by Government forces in the country’s last opposition-held region, a senior UN humanitarian warned on Monday. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / SYRIA HUMANITARIAN UPDATE
TRT: 2:09
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 24 FEBRUARY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, exterior, flag alley, Palais des nations.
2. Wide shot, press briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis:
“The fighting is now coming dangerously close to the area where more than a million are living in tents and makeshift shelters, so it’s an extremely alarming situation, because if airstrikes move and shelling move any further into that area, we are no doubt going to see a real bloodbath, a real massacre of civilians in that area.”
4. Med shot, journalists looking at laptop
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis:
“People have been fleeing in fear to the border area and what we’ve seen is the bombs have just been following them from place to place. And these people feel abandoned by the entire world. They are dumbfounded that no-one seems to be coming to their rescue.”
6. Med shot, journalist typing on mobile phone.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis:
“Huge numbers of hospitals and schools and marketplaces and bakeries and water stations have been hit by airstrikes and shelling in the past few months, and there’s a population now that is terrorised and traumatised and living in fear.”
8. Med shot, journalist looking at mobile phone
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis:
“What people are asking for at the moment is not just tents and blankets and food, they’re calling for the killing of civilians to stop. They want the fighting to stop, the carnage to stop.”
10. Med shot, journalist checking phone
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis:
“In January, we had 1,200 trucks of aid go in; in February so far, we’ve already had more than 700 trucks of aid go in. So the aid is flowing, there is a big aid operation. But the reality is, it’s simply not enough.”
12. Wide shot, journalists
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis:
“Today, we are launching a revised Emergency Response Plan. Where we are appealing for $500 million for 1.1 million people, so we’d like to revise those figures upwards.”
14. Med shot, journalist looking at laptop.
15. Wide shot, podium
16. Wide shot, journalists

STORYLINE:

Around a million civilians in northwest Syria could face “a real bloodbath, a real massacre” amid an ongoing push by Government forces in the country’s last opposition-held region, a senior UN humanitarian warned on Monday (24 Feb)..

“The fighting is now coming dangerously close to the area where more than a million are living in tents and makeshift shelters, so it’s an extremely alarming situation, because if airstrikes move and shelling move any further into that area, we are no doubt going to see a real bloodbath, a real massacre of civilians in that area,” said Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis.

Speaking in Geneva, Cutts told journalists that as people have fled violence, seeking shelter close to the country’s border with Turkey, “the bombs have just been following them from place to place. And these people feel abandoned by the entire world. They are dumbfounded that no-one seems to be coming to their rescue.”

He added: “What people are asking for at the moment is not just tents and blankets and food, they’re calling for the killing of civilians to stop. They want the fighting to stop, the carnage to stop.”

The violence – which has seen more than 900,000 civilians displaced in northwest Syria since 1 December, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) - has been marked by continuing attacks on public infrastructure and built-up areas which are protected under international law. To date, more than 70 health facilities have been put “out of service” in the affected zone, Cutts said, citing reports of medical staff in a paediatric hospital “at a loss for what to do” with some 80 infants being cared for in incubators who need evacuating, but have nowhere to go.

“Huge numbers of hospitals and schools and marketplaces and bakeries and water stations have been hit by airstrikes and shelling in the past few months, and there’s a population now that is terrorised and traumatised and living in fear,” he said.

Help is reaching the affected communities via cross-border aid deliveries from Turkey, but much more assistance is needed, Cutts explained, as he announced an upscaled Emergency Response Plan appeal for $500 million for 1.1 million people.

“In January, we had 1,200 trucks of aid go in; in February so far, we’ve already had more than 700 trucks of aid go in. So the aid is flowing, there is a big aid operation. But the reality is, it’s simply not enough.”
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