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Syria: 3.1 million children need 'urgent' help

The UN’s Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes that the number of displaced residents has doubled in the past few months.

Image: Hussein Malla/AP/Press Association Images

HUMANITARIAN NEEDS HAVE increased dramatically in Syria over recent months as violence surges and millions of citizens are forced to leave their homes.

According to the United Nation’s Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there are currently about 6.8 million Syrians in need of “urgent” assistance.

Of those, 3.1 million are children.

Over the past year, humanitarian needs have risen by 5.8 million people, up from 1 million estimated to be in need in March 2012. Almost half of this increase occurred during the first four months of this year.

More than one million residents have already fled the country to neighbouring nations but millions more are displaced internally. According to the UN, the figure has doubled to 4.25 million in recent months as movement continues to be “large-scale and fluid”. Particularly high numbers have been seen in rural Damascus and Aleppo.

Recent violence in the town of Al Bayda and Baniyas has left an unconfirmed number of residents dead or wounded. Another wave of residents leaving was also seen on 4 May with thousands more expected to flee in the coming days. However, some refugees have been unable to cross government checkpoints in the area, according to agencies working in the country.

Since Saturday, the World Food Programme has been providing assistance to 10,000 residents in the two towns.

Overall, from January to April this year, some 764,000 people have been reached through UN-led relief convoys to hard-to-access areas.

According to the UN’s latest report, Palestinians in Syria are being “killed, injured and displaced” in greater numbers than ever before.

Syria’s rebels are using chemical weapons too, says UN investigator

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