Relief efforts in Syria hampered by lack of access

Escalating fighting, insecurity and a lack of access to deliver critical assistance continue to hamper United Nations efforts to respond to the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, a top UN relief official says.

Kyung-wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, warned that conditions in the conflict-riven country were worsening, while the UN and partners struggled on the ground to deliver assistance in a timely manner.

“Food, medicines, and other assistance is just a short distance away from those who desperately require it,” she said, speaking on behalf of Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. “And if the parties grant access, we can deliver. We can save lives. But our requests have so far gone unanswered,” she added.

The conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, has led to well over 150,000 deaths, and more than 680,000 people have been injured. It has also spawned a refugee crisis in which some 2.5 million people are being sheltered in neighboring countries. At least 10.8 million people are in need of assistance inside Syria, including at least 6.5 million who are internally displaced.

[UN News Centre]

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