13.5 million people require humanitarian aid in Syria
The ongoing conflict in Syria has left at least 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian aid, says the United Nations.
The figure, which includes some six million children, shows an increase of 1.2 million people in the last 10 months, said UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien while addressing the Security Council on Tuesday.
“Rising levels of fighting and violence over the last few weeks have had an enormous humanitarian impact, resulting in large-scale death, injury and displacement to civilians, particularly in northern Syria,” he said.
There are currently 6.5 million displaced people in Syria, 1.2 million of whom were forced to flee their homes this year, O’Brien added.
“Fighting and violence has forced over half of the people in Syria from their homes in a period of just over four years, many of them multiple times,” he noted.
Quoting figures released by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, he added that some 393,700 people are currently living in areas controlled by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists and other militant groups such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.
“So far in 2015, the United Nations has only been able to reach 3.6 percent of people with health assistance and only 0.5 percent of people with food per month in besieged areas,” he said.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The crisis has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the UN.
“Winter is fast approaching and is likely to further exacerbate the situation for many families,” O’Brien warned.