UN doubles number needing humanitarian assistance in Syria

Saturday, September 08, 2012
Syria Humanitarian Forum
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
Geneva: The number of people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance in Syria has doubled in less than two months, according to the Syria Humanitarian Forum, which met for the fifth time at the United Nations in Geneva on Friday (7th September).

The Chairman of the Forum, John Ging of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that 2.5 million people inside Syria urgently need help, with the situation getting worse every day.

"The entire civilian population inside Syria is gripped by fear and despair and the basis for that fear is very real when we see the numbers that are being killed, the increasing intensity of that violence, in terms of the destruction and also the despair is grounded in the fact that they do not see any prospect for an end to this horrendous cycle of violence", he said.

Ging said humanitarian workers in the region are also in terrible danger, "taking tremendous risks on a daily basis".

In response to the growing humanitarian needs, the United Nations has increased its humanitarian appeal for Syria from US$ 180 million to US$ 347 million.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)'s regional coordinator, Panos Moumtzis said the increased funds are desperately needed. He said "we are in a crisis mode, we are in an emergency mode. There is a sense of urgency in terms of the response". Moumtzis said UN humanitarian agencies and NGO partners were doing "as best as we can to respond", but "we urgently need additional resources to be able to cope with the situation".

Meanwhile the European Commission has announced that it is preparing to release an additional 50 million Euros of humanitarian funding to help Syrian civilians caught up in their country's crisis. -UNifeed
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