UN calls for donor support for Syrians in need

August 23, 2012 9:28 am 

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 23 — The United Nations on Wednesday called for "more donor support for the rapidly increasing populations requiring assistance in Syria," a country which has been plunged into what the world body said "the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation" in the wake of 17- month crisis in the Middle East country.

Jeffrey Feltman, the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, made the statement as he was briefing the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East. It is the first such briefing by Feltman since the veteran U.S. diplomat was appointed to the current UN post by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on June 11.

"We view the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation with growing alarm," Feltman said. "The United Nations calls for more donor support for the rapidly increasing populations requiring assistance in Syria, as well as in the surrounding countries."

About 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, while the numbers of those displaced in Syria and the refugee flows to neighboring countries are growing, he said.

Feltman cited Valerie Amos, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, who made her visit to Syria recently, as saying there were access and growing capacity limitations though the heroic efforts were made by the humanitarian relief organizations on the ground.

"She called on the government of Syria to open greater humanitarian access and to widen the scope of organizations with which the UN and others can partner to deliver relief to those in need," said Feltman. "The secretary-general also reinforced Ms. Amos' urgent call for a greater and more rapid response to the UN' s humanitarian appeal for Syria."

On the current situation in Syria, Feltman said, "violence continued and, in some cases, has escalated. Both the government and the opposition are focusing on military operations and the use of force, with government forces using heavy weapons on population centers."

"The Syrian people are suffering grievously from the appalling further militarization of this conflict," he said. "The secretary- general has repeatedly expressed his concern about the arms flows to the two parties in Syria." (PNA/Xinhua)

CTB/RSM

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