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7 May 2014

Gunfire stopped distribution of food in a besieged Palestinian refugee camp on Monday, a United Nations spokesperson confirmed, reiterating demands that the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees be allowed to safely and without interruption distribute substantial quantities of food and other humanitarian assistance inside Yarmouk. The spokesman, Chris Gunness, said the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) distributed food parcels to only 162 civilian families earlier on Monday. The gunfire injured at least one civilian bystander, and forced the UNRWA team to withdraw and return to its field office. "Today's incident highlights the ongoing risks faced by civilians and humanitarian personnel in Yarmouk and other contested areas," Gunness said in a statement following the shooting.

 


2 May 2014

At least 10 children are among 19 people killed in a Syrian regime air raid on a school in Aleppo, an attack described by the UN's humanitarian chief as a horrific violation of law. According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-government monitoring group, Wednesday’s attack hit the Ein Jalout school in the east of the city.


2 May 2014

Two months after the United Nations Security Council ordered Syria’s warring parties to allow access for humanitarian aid to civilians, the heads of five United Nations agencies warned on Wednesday that diplomacy had failed and that the desperate plight of civilians in many parts of the country was getting worse. “The war escalates in many areas,” the leaders of five United Nations agencies that coordinate and deliver humanitarian relief said in a statement released in Geneva. “The humanitarian situation deteriorates day after day.”


9 April 2014

The UN Secretary General has accused all parties in Syria's civil war of "flagrant violations" of international law over the delivery of aid. Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to act to implement a resolution passed in February demanding greater access. In his second report to the council on the resolution, Mr Ban said almost 3.5m civilians were being denied vital aid, including medicine and medical care. (..)Earlier on Wednesday, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told Reuters news agency that hopes for a political deal to end Syria's war were fading and it was getting harder every day to send aid to trapped and displaced civilians.


4 April 2014

The U.N. refugee agency says the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has exceeded 1 million, calling it a "devastating milestone" for the tiny Arab country with depleted resources and an explosive sectarian mix of its own. Three years after Syria's conflict started, Lebanon has become the country with the highest per-capita concentration of refugees worldwide, struggling to cope with a massive crisis that has become an unprecedented challenge for aid agencies.


31 March 2014

The delivery of humanitarian assistance, particularly to women, in crisis situations requires more innovative and cost effective tools and strategies, a UN official has said. Commenting on the Syrian humanitarian crises, Muhannad Hadi, WFP regional emergency coordinator for Syria and neighbouring countries, said: “The WFP moves around 40,000 metric tonnes of food each month to feed close to four million people across Syria. This is one of the WFP’s largest and most complex operations worldwide. We are grateful for the generous contributions that have enabled us to save lives. The WFP requires $40 million each week to assist affected people in Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries.”


26 March 2014

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed the Syrian government and opposition Monday for escalating violence and blocking aid to millions in desperate need of help, despite pledges from both sides to comply with a Security Council resolution demanding immediate access everywhere in the country to deliver aid. Despite the worsening security environment, the UN World Food Program and its partners provided food to 3.7 million people in February, Ban said. But he added, "the assistance reaching people continues to fall far short of what is required to cover even their basic needs."


24 March 2014

In Jordan, the vast majority of about 600,000 registered Syrian refugees shelter in towns and cities, not camps, and they are struggling just to survive. Almost four out of five Syrian refugees in Jordan live outside the formal camps, but get nothing like the same amount of international attention. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says it is concerned that many Syrians living in urban areas have "reached the limits of their ability to cope", finding it hard to pay rents, while facing inadequate housing and educational challenges for children. Zarqa is drawing Syrians fleeing the violent three-year civil war because of its proximity to the border and its relative affordability compared with other towns, such as Mafraq and Irbid, where rents and food prices have skyrocketed.


24 March 2014

At least 20 humanitarian aid trucks sent by the UN have crossed the Turkish border into Syria bringing food, blankets, mattresses, family kits, hygiene kits, medicines and medical supplies. Four UN agencies are taking part in the convoy with the support of OCHA: the World Food Programme, the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization along with the International Organization for Migration.


21 March 2014

Several U.N. aid trucks crossed from Turkey into Syria for the first time on Thursday, a Reuters witness said, a step relief officials hope will pave the way for greater humanitarian access to area hardest hit by the country's civil war. The trucks, mostly from the U.N. World Food Programme, crossed at the Nusaybin border post taking food supplies, bedding and medicine to the ethnic Kurdish city of Qamishli in Syria, according to officials. "It is the first time in three years of this brutal conflict that the U.N. has been able to carry aid across into Syria from Turkey," Nigel Fisher, the United Nations' regional humanitarian coordinator, said in a statement.