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UN appeals for $4 billion in humanitarian aid funding for Syria amid ongoing crisis

March 24, 2024 at 9:45 am

A Syrian child, who has to struggle with hard life conditions and cold winter as a refugee in Bettin Camp, watches a man cooking in Idlib, Syria on January 20, 2024. [İzettin Kasım – Anadolu Agency]

A humanitarian official at the United Nations has appealed for $4 billion in aid for over 10 million Syrians, as the crisis in Syria continues to worsen after thirteen years of conflict.

Speaking to reporters in the Swiss city of Geneva on Friday, Adam Abdelmoula, resident coordinator in Syria for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, stated that “Today, we are facing an unprecedented situation in Syria — one that we cannot afford to ignore”.

The UN official cited key statistics on the crisis, including the fact that around 16.7 million people in Syria require some form of humanitarian assistance – an increase from 15.3 million last year – and that over 7 million people remain internally displaced, with almost as many being refugees in other countries abroad and in the region.

As a result of those dire statistics, Abdelmoula revealed that the UN is seeking $4.07 billion to provide urgent and life-saving aid to 10.8 million Syrians. Highlighting that Syria’s humanitarian crisis remains “one of the most deadly to civilians in the world”, he stressed that “Inaction will be costly for all of us and will inevitably lead to additional suffering.”

READ: War in Syria has dragged a generation into insecurity and deprivation

After thirteen years of the ongoing conflict in the country, 90 per cent of Syria’s population are reportedly below the poverty line, and the situation is made worse by the fact that millions of them are expected to suffer in severe shortages of food due to a shortfall in the necessary funding. That lack of funds has become so drastic that, in January, the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) was forced to end its main assistance program in Syria.

Furthermore, humanitarian aid to the country has been affected by numerous other conflicts in the world. “We are competing with so many crises. If you look at the global picture, you have Gaza, you have Ukraine, you have Sudan, you have Afghanistan… and the list goes on and on”, Abdelmoula said.

“With each emerging crisis, the Syria one that is now over a decade-old keeps being pushed to the back burner”, the UN official lamented. “We are struggling to keep it in the global attention. And that is proving to be challenging every year.”

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