UN: Humanitarian needs outpacing response amid ongoing obstacles to aid delivery in Syria

Refugees in Syria. (Photo - UNHCR)27 June 2014 – “Deliberately obstructing humanitarian access and depriving civilians of access to services essential to their survival, is unlawful and inhumane,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos.

Four months after the Security Council adopted a resolution demanding unimpeded access to people in need of assistance in Syria, relief agencies continue to face obstacles to aid delivery while the needs continue to grow and are now outpacing response efforts.

Resolution 2139, adopted by the Council in February, demanded action by parties to the conflict in a number of areas including ceasing attacks against civilians and doing everything in their power to facilitate rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need of assistance.

Valerie Amos told the Council that since the adoption of the resolution, an additional 1.2 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance, bringing the total to 10.8 million. The number of people in need in hard-to-reach areas now stands at 4.7 million.

“Thousands of people continue to lose their lives every month. In the continued absence of a political solution to the crisis, humanitarian workers will continue to do everything they can, but we recognize that we cannot do it alone,” she said in her briefing.

Ms. Amos said that while UN agencies and non-governmental organization partners continue their efforts to meet urgent humanitarian needs, insecurity and active conflict play a role in preventing humanitarian access to many locations.

Source: UN News Centre (prepared by: Mateja Robnik)