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.”
"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."
"We are stretched to the maximum" - as #Syria displacement continues, humanitarians' concerns are on the rise for 2.5 million people in #Idlib amidst intensified fighting. Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria crisis @PanosMoumtzis briefed the press in Geneva today. pic.twitter.com/g9mSnzkjVV— UN Geneva (@UNGeneva) June 11, 2018
Moumtzis also told VOA that 2.5 million civilians are living in Idlib under duress, as tensions are escalating there.
"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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