Humanitarian Situation Across Syria ‘Deteriorating Rapidly’

Noting that the conflict still appeared to have no end in sight in Syria, humanitarian situation across the country is also “deteriorating rapidly,” according to United Nations human rights chief.

According to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Navi Pillay, thousands have been killed, thousands more injured in the Middle East country due to violence and unrest.

“As we speak, civilians including children, are continuing to be injured and killed in Syria virtually every hour of every day.” -Ms. Pillay

Syrian refugee center on the Turkish border 50 miles from Aleppo, Syria (3 August 2012).

Ms. Pillay also voiced concern over continuing reports of gross human rights violations in Syria.

With the ongoing violence, Ms. Pillay warns that violence against civilians caught in the Syrian conflict will not go unpunished.

She also urging the Security Council to refer the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“I urge all parties, in the strongest possible terms, to protect civilians from the on-going violence and to immediately cease acts of violence against civilians in violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.”-Ms. Pillay

In her remarks, Ms. Pillay undelrines that more than 2.5 million people across the Middle Eastern country are affected by the violence.

In addition, she notes that government forces are now using heavy weaponry in residential neighbourhoods and populated areas.

However, Ms. Pillay pointed out that human rights violations were being perpetrated by both sides of the conflict.

She warned that both parties will face the legal consequences for their grave actions.

“Both Government forces and opposition forces deploy snipers who target civilians.” -Ms. Pillay

She notes that as time has passed, opposition forces have also been increasingly implicated in kidnappings and abductions.

In addition, she also warns the opposition forces should be under no illusion that they will be immune from prosecution.

In June this year, with growing influx of civilians fleeing from conflict, UN reported that humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate.

Reports say up to 1.5 million Syrians are in need of assistance.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that civilians attempting to flee from fighting need urgent assistance and protection.

OCHA reported that aid agencies continue to face significant access constraints to reaching people in need.

OCHA said visits by UN relief agencies to Homs and Idlib over the past two weeks have found that increasing numbers of people are leaving their homes and communities’ vulnerability is growing.

In the Idlib Governorate where fighting continues, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) reported that 350,000 people now need assistance.

OCHA stated there is increase of 150,000 people since the Government-led assessment of the humanitarian situation at the end of March.

In addition, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that it needs additional funds of around $14 million for its response to the crisis in Syria. Along with its partners, UNICEF is providing assistance to Syrian children in need in areas such as health, nutrition, education and child protection.

UN estimates that there are over 1 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.

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.

In addition, the World Food Program, WFP has distributed id in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

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

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.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.