GENEVA / IDLIB WARNING

11-Sep-2018 00:01:56
Amid concerns that a severe funding shortfall threatens the “most vulnerable” victims of the Syrian conflict, the United Nations warned today that a full-scale military offensive on Idlib risks creating the worst humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century. UNTV CH
Size
Format
Acquire
276.44 MB
HD PAL
116.12 MB
SD PAL
280.76 MB
HD NTSC
DESCRIPTION
STORY: GENEVA / IDLIB WARNING
TRT: 1:56
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 SEPTEMBER 2018 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations.
2. Wide shot, United Nations press room.
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, OCHA:
“We as humanitarian advocates must raise our voice. We are saying that this has the potential to be the worst crisis - humanitarian crisis - in the 21st century, because that is frankly what it looks like, if it goes ahead with a full-scale military operation.”
4. Med shot, journalists.
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, OCHA:
“As the Emergency Relief Coordinator mentioned, he was recently in Damascus, where he had interactions with the government officials, and he came back and told everyone about his impression, that the Government seemed very adamant in its pushing ahead with some kind of military solution in the place, which is very, very scary from a humanitarian perspective.”
6. Med shot, journalists.
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jens Laerke, spokesperson, OCHA:
“They have this capacity to kill and destroy. We have seen it in use before, and we strongly advise that it does not happen in this enclosed area, where the population has, I think, almost doubled by the influx of evacuees and IDPs from other parts of the country.”
8. Med shot, journalists.
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Babar Baloch, spokesperson, UNHCR:
“Out of the $270 million we’re asking for, there’s some $36 million which is required to address the impact of rising healthcare costs. So without funding there’s a risk that refugees will not receive even basic medical services, such as child immunizations.”
10. Med shot, journalists.
STORYLINE
Amid concerns that a severe funding shortfall threatens the “most vulnerable” victims of the Syrian conflict, the United Nations warned today that a full-scale military offensive on Idlib risks creating the worst humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century,

Speaking to media in Geneva Tuesday (11 Sep), Jens Laerke from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said “we as humanitarian advocates must raise our voice. We are saying that this has the potential to be the worst crisis - humanitarian crisis - in the 21st century, because that is frankly what it looks like, if it goes ahead with a full-scale military operation.”

According to OCHA, since 4 September, an uptick in violence has killed scores of civilians and displaced more than 30,000 people.

Reading a statement from Panos Moumtzis, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, the OCHA spokesperson noted that aerial and ground-based bombardment had struck northern rural Hama governorate and southern rural Idlib, accompanied by an increase in retaliatory rocket and mortar attacks.

The resulting impact on civilians has been “dramatic”,Laerke said, his concerns echoing those of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, who a day earlier had issued a warning about a military escalation in Idlib, after a recent meeting with Syria government officials in the country’s capital.

Laerke said “as the Emergency Relief Coordinator mentioned, he was recently in Damascus, where he had interactions with the government officials. And he came back and told everyone about his impression, that the Government seemed very adamant in its pushing ahead with some kind of military solution in the place, which is very, very scary from a humanitarian perspective.”

Insisting that a military solution to the more than seven-year conflict was not defensible “in any way”, the UN official expressed concern about the military capabilities of the belligerents which had reduced the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Raqqa to rubble.

He said “they have this capacity to kill and destroy. We have seen it in use before, and we strongly advise that it does not happen in this enclosed area, where the population has, I think, almost doubled by the influx of evacuees and IDPs from other parts of the country.”

In the space of less than a week, four hospitals have been hit in southern Idlib and neighbouring Hama governorate. This is contrary to international humanitarian law, the OCHA spokesperson said, adding that one of the hospitals was also in a protected “deconfliction zone”, whose coordinates had been given to the warring parties to spare it from attack.

As UN agencies and their partners prepare to help those fleeing a full-scale military attack, UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, warned that $270 million is urgently needed to help Syria’s most vulnerable people inside and outside the war-torn country.

UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch, told journalists in Geneva that “out of the $270 million we’re asking for, there’s some $36 million which is required to address the impact of rising healthcare costs. So without funding, there’s a risk that refugees will not receive even basic medical services, such as child immunizations.”

Of more than 5.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, 2.6 million are children. UNHCR’s needs for the Syria crisis amount to nearly $2 billion. So far, the appeal is only 31 per cent funded.
Category
Topical Subjects
Geographic Subjects
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed180911a