[QODLink]
Middle East

UN estimates 9.3 million Syrians need aid

UN humanitarian chief says 40 percent of population needs outside help to survive as push for peace talks continues.

Last Modified: 05 Nov 2013 17:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The UN estimates that about 9.3 million people in Syria, or about 40 percent of the population, need humanitarian assistance owing to the country's ongoing civil conflict.

Valerie Amos, the UN humanitarian chief, told the 15-member Security Council on Monday that 9.3 million people now need outside help to survive, up from 6.8 million in September, and 6.5 million are now homeless inside the country, up from 4.25 million.

The population of Syria is about 23 million.

"The humanitarian situation inside Syria continues to deteriorate rapidly and inexorably," she said during a closed-doors meeting, according to her spokeswoman Amanda Pitt.

Spotlight
In-depth coverage of escalating violence across Syria

She said: "Amos continues to press the council for their help and influence over those parties who can ensure the protection of civilians and civilian facilities; the safe passage of medical personnel and supplies; the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance; and can facilitate progress in expanding critical, life-saving relief operations."

Amos' plea to the Security Council follows the Syrian government's promise on Monday to ensure delivery of vaccinations and humanitarian aid across the country, after an outbreak of polio in the northeast and warnings of malnutrition in areas under military siege.

Twenty-two children in Deir Ez-zor province bordering Iraq were left paralysed last month.

The polio virus has been confirmed so far in 10 of them, and experts say it could spread quickly across the region.

Last month, Amos demanded stronger action by the Security Council to get desperately needed aid into Syria, where millions of people in need have not received any help for almost a year.

Violence and excessive red tape have slowed aid delivery to a trickle in Syria. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the civil war and millions have fled the country.

After months of talks, the Security Council approved a non-binding statement on October 2 urging increased humanitarian access.

Amos has complained that that statement has had little impact on the ground.

Senior UN diplomats say that Sergey Lavrov, Russian foreign minister, previously dismissed the possibility of a legally binding resolution on aid access in Syria.

355

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.