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Damaged buildings in Raqqa, Syria.
Gabriel Chaim/AP
Citizenship

Syria Still World's Largest Displacement Crisis, UN Says

By Joanna Prisco

With more than 13 million lives at risk across the war-ravaged nation, Syria remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis in terms of protection and displacement, the United Nations reported this week, according to Voice of America.

Between January and April of this year alone, the UN reported that more than 1 million Syrians were displaced — the highest number of people fleeing the country since the war began seven years ago.

And while the number of individuals located in hard-to-reach areas has dropped from 4.5 million to 2 million, delivering aid remains challenging, the report continued, citing “ongoing conflict, bureaucratic red tape, and the refusal of the Syrian government to allow most UN convoys into [besieged] areas.”

Take Action: Ask World Leaders to Pledge to the Education Cannot Wait Fund for Kids in Crisis

"With the low level of funding, the high acute level of emergency, the massive displacement, including evacuations that have taken place, the humanitarian response on the ground is really at a breaking point," said Panos Moumtzis, UN regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, noting that just 27% of the $3.4 billion required has been received.

"We are stretched to the maximum. We are literally from hand to mouth, emptying warehouses, working around the clock."

Moumtzis also told VOA that 2.5 million civilians are living in Idlib under duress, as tensions are escalating there.

Read More: UK Hints at Boosting Aid to Syria's White Helmets After US Freezes Funding

"The fact that civilians have been displaced there for quite some time, there has to be a negotiated way forward," he said. "There has to be a peaceful solution that avoids the bloodshed we saw in other areas, a peaceful solution that avoids more displacement taking place because there is nowhere else to go."

Whether and when such a resolution will come remains unseen. Earlier this month, the Institute for Economics and Peace named Syria the least peaceful country in the world according to its annual Global Peace Index report.

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