UN humanitarian chief calls for end to Syria crisis
A man carries an injured boy following a reported airstrike by government forces in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, November 7, 2015. (AFP/File)
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The United Nations (UN)’s humanitarian chief has called on the global community, particularly the influential players, to help put an end to the conflict in Syria and start providing millions of its violence-stricken people with much-needed aid.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien made the remarks during a meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Monday.
“The Syria crisis is a chronicle of missed opportunities by the Security Council, member states with influence on the parties, and the broader international community to bring the conflict to an end,” O’Brien told the 15-member council.
He made the comments days after the latest round of the international talks on the Syrian crisis, which were held in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on November 14.
O’Brien added that, “This momentum must be seized to leave no stone un-turned to put an end to this horrendous war that has cost an estimated 250,000 people their lives, given rise to extremist and terrorist groups,” and also reduced the country “to rubble.”
The UN official added that some 13.5 million people in Syria, including six million children, were currently in need of humanitarian assistance, while over four million others have been forced to seek refuge in neighboring or European countries.
The UN has so far received only $3.4 billion of the $8.4 billion humanitarian aid it appealed for to help the Syrians affected by the crisis this year.
According to UN figures, some 190,000 people fled their homes in October alone as a result of the violence caused by militancy in Syria.
The UN envoy working to protect children in the conflict, Leila Zerrougui, also warned that the death toll for Syrian children is expected to increase from last year’s estimated 10,000.