Martin Griffiths, under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said Thursday that Syria’s “devastation finds few parallels in recent history.”
Briefing the United Nations (UN) Security Council on the situation in Syria, Griffiths announced: “This month marks 11 years of war, destruction and humanitarian crisis for the people of Syria.
Griffiths stated: “Over 350,000 people were killed and almost 14 million people were displaced from their homes. Basic services have been destroyed. Five million children born since the conflict began have seen nothing but hardship and nothing but war.”
He added, “Civilians continue to be killed and injured along frontline areas in north-west and north-east Syria,” citing that 18 civilians were killed in north-west Syria in February.
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Giving an example of the horrific scenes in Syria, he said: “We remain concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Al-Hol, where about 56,000 people live.
Griffiths called for protection for the people in the camp, stating: “We must preserve the civilian character of the camp. I take this opportunity once again to call for the full repatriation of third-country nationals from camps in north-eastern Syria As we reported here last month, 14.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance – more than at any time since the conflict began.”
He added that the “crippling economic crisis continues to push humanitarian needs to new heights,” and warned that the war in Ukraine, leading to soaring food and energy prices around the world, “could have negative impacts on the region, including of Syria. “
“In Syria in 2021, 805 people were killed and almost 3,000 others injured by mines and explosive ordnance. It is estimated that around half of Syria’s population lives in areas contaminated with explosive ordnance. Another shocking number. Currently, a third of Syrian households receive less than two hours of electricity per day. Public services are of course similarly underserved.”
The UN official concluded: “Ultimately, now more than ever, we must act to show the people of Syria that they are not forgotten, because they fear they are, and to provide assistance needed by the communities, these families, these statistics are so badly needed.”
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