3 mln people across Syria need assistance in winter, warns UN official



More than 3 million people across Syria require assistance through what is likely to be an “incredibly hard” winter, the acting deputy UN emergency relief coordinator told the Security Council on Wednesday.

Against the backdrop that 6.7 million people in Syria are internally displaced, a third of whom lack proper shelter and live in damaged buildings, or public spaces like schools or tents, Ramesh Rajasingham, acting assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told council members online that “winter weather is proving to be incredibly hard for those without adequate shelter” or “basics like fuel for heating, blankets, warm clothes and shoes.”

Turning to the economic crisis, Rajasingham noted that between the devaluation of the Syrian currency and increasing food prices, people are “increasingly unable to feed their families.”

“Today an estimated 9.3 million people in Syria are food insecure — that’s 1.4 million more people than a year ago and more than at any other time during the crisis,” he said. “About one million of them are severely food insecure — twice as many as last year — and we expect this number to increase.”

On protecting civilians, the UN official noted that some areas of the country that had been temporarily spared fresh violence are now seeing its return, with significant consequences for their human rights and well-being.

At least eight civilians were reportedly killed and at least 15 others were injured because of shelling and airstrikes in the northwest this month, including two aid workers on their way to a UNICEF (UN Children’s Fund)-supported child-friendly space, according to Rajasingham.

Over the past two months, at least six humanitarian workers had been killed and others injured.

“The risks our humanitarian colleagues are taking every day are simply unacceptable,” he said. “Humanitarian workers must be able to deliver assistance without fear of attack.”

Citing “inconsistent” humanitarian access, the deputy relief chief maintained that already devastated health facilities are being further impacted by gaps in medical assistance in northeast Syria.

“Let me be clear: Health services are extremely weak across the country and are being stretched to new extremes under the public health impact of COVID-19,” he noted. “Gaps in assistance and shortages of medical supplies and personnel are prevalent everywhere.”

Humanitarian agencies throughout the country have collectively reached some 7.4 million people with assistance each month “to stave off an even worse situation,” he said.

“This would be impossible without the extraordinary commitment and endurance of our front-line colleagues, who are overwhelmingly Syrian and are themselves directly affected by the crisis,” said Rajasingham. “They are delivering aid under the most difficult of circumstances, at great personal risk. They must be protected.”



NNN: :is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

Latest News

The role of technology in unlocking trade value in East Africa Digitalisation of economic sectors will kick-start a new growth cycle after COVID-19, Africa’s Development Dynamics report shows African Development Bank, European Investment Bank sign Joint Partnership Action Plan to fast-track development in Africa Joint Statement on Mozambique by United Nations Regional Directors for Southern and Eastern Africa MSF emergency team responds to worrying health needs in Riang, South Sudan, with high rates of malaria UNSMIL announces that Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) approves the proposal of selection mechanism of executive authority for the preparatory period Customers demand greater digital engagement from Communication Service Providers (CSPs) Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) Coronavirus – Eswatini: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases as of 19 January 2021, 6 pm EAT Coronavirus – Nigeria: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) UNHCR finds dire need in Eritrean refugee camps cut off in Tigray conflict Coronavirus – Africa: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) Coronavirus – Ethiopia: COVID-19 update (19 January 2021) East African countries better prepared, but desert locust threat ‘not over’ African messaging app ayoba assures users of full privacy and security protection, safe for younger users The END Fund welcomes Moses Bockarie and Carol Karutu as board member and Head of Programs Here’s what happened on the last day of NEF-GG 2020 Reach Africa’s 1.35-billion consumers with content in the region’s most widely spoken local languages, says Pronto Translations Pakistan approves China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru event held in Kenner, United States Head of UN Conference on Trade and Development resigns Retail stores, hair salons reopen to public in Greece Security concerns put Washington D.C. on edge as Biden inauguration nears WHO pandemic review panel highlights effective multilateralism in COVID-19 response Brazil’s financial market forecasts 3.45 pct economic growth in 2021 Nigerian troops kill 30 bandits in gunfight Roundup: United States COVID-19 cases top 24 mln two days from new administration EU plans to start spending huge recovery fund in months Chile reports 3,918 new COVID-19 cases Tunisia reports 1,795 new COVID-19 cases, 181,885 in total Start of 2021 sees overall upward trend in COVID-19 situation: WHO official Cuba reports 292 new COVID-19 cases Brazil launches mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign Egyptian defense minister, Greek chief of staff discuss military ties Authorities investigate 12 murders in eastern Mexico Speaker Berri says Lebanon reels under unannounced sanctions, siege Roadway crash kills 12 in Ecuador France registers 403 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours Roundup: Stellantis starts off strongly, replacing Fiat, Peugeot on stock exchanges Tunisia arrests 632 individuals following looting, vandalism Chinese envoy calls for strengthened UN-Arab League cooperation Roundup: Lockdown raises Israeli unemployment rate to 15.9 pct; Iran records 5,806 new COVID-19 cases, 1,336,217 in total Lebanon registers 3,144 new COVID-19 cases, 255,956 in total Morocco registers 473 new COVID-19 cases, 35 more deaths One dead after avalanche hits Russian ski resort Coronavirus – Sierra Leone: COVID-19 update (18 January 2021) UN chief appoints new envoy on Libya Coronavirus: African Union Member States reporting COVID-19 cases as of 18 January 2021, 9 am EAT