1M Syrians need humanitarian aid — UN, OIC

A Syrian man holds up an SOS sign. At least 1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance. Photo by: Freedom House / CC BY

Food, blankets and hygiene kits are on their way to some 2,000 families in the Tartus governorate that have been displaced by fighting in Syria.

The United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Coooperation visited the governorates of Aleppo, Ar-Raqqah, Daraa, Deir ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, Idlib, Latakia, Damascus and Tartus during an assessment mission led by the Syrian government. Their findings, released Thursday (March 29), reveal that at least 1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Following the mission, Syria’s deputy minister of foreign affairs has approved the delivery of basic needs, such as food and hygiene kits, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. The mission said aid priorities include food, medical assistance, and nonfood items such as beddings and household essentials.

The humanitarian situation in Syria is of great concern to the international community. The United Nations estimates about 9,000 people have been killed in the country since the uprising.

On Tuesday (March 27), Syrian President Bashar Assad accepted U.N.-Arab league special envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan for Syria, which includes a daily two-hour humanitarian ceasefire. But the international community doubts Assad will honor his commitments. U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Assad’s regime needs to convince a “skeptical world and a wounded Syrian people,” says BBC.

Assad said Thursday the peace plan will not work unless foreign funding to the opposition ends, Reuters reports.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.