U.N. Warns Humanitarian Situation In Syria Deteriorating ‘Rapidly And Inexorably’

“The humanitarian crisis inside Syria is escalating rapidly with more than nine million people — about 40 percent of the population — in dire need as winter approaches and agencies find it increasingly difficult to deliver aid inside the war-ravaged nation, the United Nations warns,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “After more than 2 1/2 years of brutal conflict, Syria is facing a kind of humanitarian breakdown, aid workers say, with shortages of essential medicines, power, shelter, clean water and even food,” the newspaper states (McDonnell, 11/5). “‘The humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate rapidly and inexorably,’ U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the U.N. Security Council behind closed doors, according to her spokeswoman Amanda Pitt,” Reuters writes (Charbonneau, 11/4). “Amos told the council that 9.3 million people now need outside help to survive, up from 6.8 million in September, and 6.5 million are now homeless inside the country, up from 4.25 million,” Agence France-Presse notes.

Amos “handed the council a letter which set out a call for greater pressure to back a statement agreed by the Security Council on October 2 calling on the government and opposition rebels to make it easier to provide food and medicines, diplomats said,” AFP reports. “The 15-nation council is divided over the 32-month-old war which the U.N. says has left well over 100,000 dead,” the news agency notes (11/4). “The United States and Russia failed on Tuesday to agree on a date for a Syrian peace conference, remaining divided over what role Iran might play in talks to end the civil war and over who would represent Syria’s opposition,” Reuters reports in another article (Nebehay/Miles, 11/5).