Humanitarian needs are deepening in Syria: UN

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NEW YORK, 21 February, 2021, (TON): A convergence of factors, including armed conflict, a sinking economy and COVID-19, are contributing to growing needs across Syria, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday. 

“As of January, around 13.4 million people are estimated to require some form of humanitarian and protection assistance.  This is an increase of more than 2 million people over the previous year.  Some of the greatest needs are in food insecurity,” said OCHA in a statement released.  

Health, water and sanitation infrastructure are poor or non-existent all around the country.  

Some of the greatest needs are in food insecurity. “The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that at least 12.4 million people, nearly 60 per cent of the population, are now food insecure.  In one year, an additional 4.5 million Syrians have become food insecure,” said OCHA in a release. 

About 2 million Syrians are estimated to be living in extreme poverty, and an estimated 2.4 million children are out of school.   

Last year, an average of 7.6 million people was helped each month with humanitarian assistance which was an increase of 1.9 million people compared to 2019. 

Humanitarian assistance is a lifeline for millions of people in Syria, making the humanitarian response in all its forms, including cross-line and cross-border, critical, said the office. 

Syria's civil war began during the Arab Spring in 2011 as a peaceful uprising against the country's president and has since escalated. The Syrian civil war is not only one of the bloodiest conflicts in the world today, it's also one of the most complex. 

According to estimates by the United Nations, more than 400,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. The UN reports that, as of January 2019, more than 5.6 million have fled the country, and over 6 million have been internally displaced. 

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