Syrian humanitarian needs mounting

Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The humanitarian needs of civilians in Syria struggling to cope with the growing violence in the country are mounting, a U.N. official said.

John Ging, director of operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said members of a survey team were appalled by the devastation in cities like Homs, which has bore the brunt of the 20-month conflict.

He said in a statement that he was "encouraged that the delegation was able to cross the conflict lines, which demonstrates that, where there is political will, there is a way to ensure that international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles are upheld, even during such intense conflict."

The United Nations estimates at least 60,000 people have died as a result of war. Humanitarian workers have been unable to address the needs of the estimated 650,000 people displaced by conflict.

"The humanitarian needs are enormous," added Ging.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met this week with Syrian peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi at the United Nations.

Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat, told the BBC this month that a rhetoric of change spelled out by Syrian President Bashar Assad in a New Year's address didn't make "one iota" of difference for peace.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
share with facebook
share with twitter
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories