THE Security Council of the UN, "appalled" at the scale of
violence and death in Syria, has called on all parties to enable
humanitarian assistance to reach those in need, regardless of
"political prejudices and aims".
Issued by the President of the Council, Agshin Mehdiyev, on
Wednesday of last week, the statement warned that "several million
Syrians, in particular internally displaced persons, nearly half of
whom are children, are in need of immediate humanitarian
assistance, and that without urgent increased humanitarian action,
their lives will be at risk."
It warned that "arbitrarily depriving civilians of objects
indispensable to their survival, including wilfully impeding relief
supply and access, can constitute a violation of international
Last week, Save the Children published a report, Hunger in a War
Zone, which warned that hunger was now a "grave threat facing
Syria's children". It described a situation in areas under siege,
including Homes, Aleppo, Idleb, and Damascus, where nearly two
million people are "unable to access food; afraid to drink the
One of the testimonies in the report was provided by a
grandmother who was forced to hide in a basement without
food, fearful that the crying of her granddaughter would
alert armed men to their presence.
Last month, the chief executive of UNICEF, Anthony Lake, warned
that families were struggling to survive in beseiged areas: "We
must be able to reach these children, urgently and without
restrictions - and the various parties to the conflict can make
that happen by immediately allowing humanitarian workers to reach
them with life-saving assistance."
The UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs,
Baroness Amos, said that she was "extremely worried" by reports
that more than half a million people were trapped in Damascus. She
mentioned cases of severe malnutrition, as well as the spread of
An assessment published in May by a group of aid agencies
working in Syria reported that of the 15.6 million people living in
the north of the country, 10.5 million lived in areas where "access
to essential goods and services and security is considerably
compromised, leaving them at elevated risk of harm."
More than two million people have fled Syria since the conflict
began. On Tuesday, the UN high commissioner for refugees, António
Guterres, called on on all countries, particularly in Europe and in
the extended Middle East, to allow access to asylum.
Of the $4.4 billion needed to fund humanitarian support for
Syria and neighbouring countries this year, only $1.84 billion has
been raised so far.
In Egypt, which is home to more than 111,000 refugees,
Refuge-Egypt, a ministry of the diocese of Egypt, North Africa
& the Horn of Africa, is providing medical and nutritional
care. Church World Service is also providing basic services in