The humanitarian situation in Syria is showing no signs of alleviating soon: The number of people in need has doubled since July and the United Nations has revised its aid appeal for the country.
The United Nations and its partners are now seeking $347 million — nearly double the original $180 million appeal. Priority sectors under the new appeal include health, food, education, shelter, infrastructure rehabilitation, community services and livelihood. Meanwhile, focus regions will be Homs, Hama, Damascus, Aleppo, Deir Ezzor and Idlib.
The revised appeal was based on the United Nations’ assessment of the needs in the country. This was led by Valerie Amos, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, who visited Syria in August. The U.N. Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs had at that time hinted it will update its plan for Syria, where two staff members were recently killed.
With the launch of the new appeal came yet another call for donors to step up support for efforts to address Syria’s humanitarian needs. Funds committed by donors to Syria currently cover only 29.9 percent of the appeal, according to OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service.
A promise of additional aid from the European Commission may help cover the funding gap. The commission said it is preparing a €50 million ($64 million) aid package for Syria — to be channeled through the United Nations, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and various nongovernmental organizations. The release of the package, however, awaits approval from the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
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