Fighting in Idlib, the last area in Syria under opposition-control, has intensified in recent weeks. Since December 1, nearly 520,000 Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, many for the second time.
On average, WHO and its partners reach 800,000 in northwest Syria every month – but the agency said the situation on the ground is changing by the hour. This has further limited access to basic healthcare, an increasing lack of basic medicine, and less protection against communicable diseases as a fragile immunization network, put in place by WHO and partners, is now disrupted. An estimated 2.9 million people in Syria’s northwest are in need of healthcare.
A senior official said it was “striking” that in the case of Idlib, where Syrian Government forces plus their allies Russia and others are battling the last remaining rebel fighters, “the enormous humanitarian needs are being largely ignored by the international media and governments.
“Northwest Syria represents one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises, where civilians are suffering on an extraordinary level. Humanitarian agencies can only do so much. What we need is a renewed international commitment to bring an end to this protracted and devastating crisis”, he said.