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Aid agencies say 5.6m children are in need of aid, a 31% increase since 2013

UN failing Syrians, say charities

The UN Security Council has failed to implement resolutions to protect and help civilians in Syria, a report by a group of 21 aid agencies says, BBC reports. The agencies – including Save the Children and Oxfam – say it has been the “worst year” for civilians as the conflict enters its fifth year. Another humanitarian report says 83% of the lights in Syria have gone out since the conflict began in March 2011.

The UN secretary general says the long-term aim remains a political solution. “The bitter reality is that the Security Council has failed to implement its resolutions,” said Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “Parties to the conflict have acted with impunity and ignored the Security Council’s demands, civilians are not protected and their access to relief has not improved,” he added. The “Failing Syria” report by the 21 aid agencies says:

  • People are not protected: 2014 was the deadliest year of the conflict in Syria, with at least 76,000 Syrians killed
  • Aid access has not improved: 4.8m people in need reside in areas defined by the UN as “hard to reach”, one million more than in 2013
  • Needs have increased: 5.6m children are in need of aid, a 31% increase since 2013
  • The humanitarian response has decreased compared to needs: In 2013, 71% of the funds needed to support civilians inside Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries were provided. In 2014, this had declined to 57%Separately, a UN-backed report by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research said four years of armed conflict, economic disintegration and social fragmentation in Syria have forced some 10m people to flee their homes and reduced life expectancy by two decades – from nearly 76 years of age to 56.It said the conflict had had a “catastrophic” impact.

On Wednesday, a group of more than 100 humanitarian and human rights organisations released satellite imagery showing that the number of lights visible over Syria at night had fallen by 83% since March 2011  Also on Wednesday, Medecins Sans Frontieres said a massive increase in medical assistance was urgently required. In its report, it said from the estimated 2,500 doctors who worked in Aleppo, Syria’s second biggest city, before the conflict, fewer than 100 now remain. The rest have fled, become internally displaced or have been kidnapped or killed. It said this has left a “catastrophic gap in expertise and experience in medical care”.

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