Displaced Syrians Find Fewer Refuge Amid Turmoil

The ongoing turmoil engulfing Syria is making it increasingly difficult for displaced civilians to find refuge, the United Nations humanitarian agency said today.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also warned that insecurity has impedes humanitatian efforts to provide the population with basic services.

“Civilians – ordinary men, women and children – are bearing the brunt of the violence.” -OCHA

The agency reports that people have been killed in their homes or on the streets as they look for food or try to vacate the wounded.

FSA fighter prepares to shoot RPG on the Syrian Army in Homs.

Thousands of homes, clinics and hospitals have been destroyed, OCHA added.

In addition, OCHA cites that blockades and curfews imposed on cities such as Homs, Hama, Dera’a and Idlib have prevented people from obtaining water, food and medical supplies.”

Reports say reports violence has escaletd in recent weeks in many towns and villages, particularly in the cities of Damascus and Aleppo.

According to OCHA, over 2.5 million people are in need of urgent assistance and protection.

“UN agencies and humanitarian partners report an increase in the number of military checkpoints, roadblocks and road closures, affecting their ability to reach those in need of assistance.” -OCHA

Amid the ongoing violence, some 310,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) were given their essential needs. The World Food Programme (WFP) has also distributed food rations to more than 530,000 people over the last three weeks.

UN estimates that there are over 2.5 million Syrians inside Syria in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Of that number, it’s an estimated 300,000 internally displaced.

There are over 66,000 refugees in neighboring countries and there are existing refugees, Palestinian refugees, totaling about 500,000 inside Syria as well as a hundred thousand Iraqi refugees inside Syria.

In terms of funding, the United States has dedicated some $33 million to support the important work to assist and protect those in need in Syria and neighboring countries, and much more is on the way.

US pproach is to work through international and nongovernmental organizations.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has created a severe and growing humanitarian crisis, and the humanitarian organizations currently operating in Syria are tirelessly working to get aid out as quickly as possible into areas where safety and security are questionable.

Aid workers in Syria are putting their lives in jeopardy every day to get this relief to vulnerable children, women, and men caught in this crisis.

To help meet the growing needs, the United States is providing food, clean water, basic healthcare, medical and other emergency relief supplies to benefit more than 400,000 people in Syria and neighboring countries so far.

One of US largest emergency partners right now is the World Food Program, which has been helping to reach a hundred thousand people per month in some of the most conflict-affected cities and zones since this conflict began.

World Food Program, WFP, is being distributed in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. So far, they’ve reached 11 of the 14 provinces in Syria, Ms. Capozzola cited.

With support from the United States and other donors, WFP has expanded its emergency food assistance to reach now 250,000 conflict-affected Syrians.

US assistance is through international and non-governmental humanitarian partners which include:

  • $10.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
  • $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • $7.8 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
  • $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); and
  • $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 18,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

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