UN chief calls for int'l efforts to meet humanitarian needs of Syrians

(Xinhua) 15:44, March 31, 2021

UNITED NATIONS, March 30 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for international efforts to meet the humanitarian needs of Syrians and to stop the 10-year-old war.

"After a decade of war, many Syrians have lost confidence that the international community can help them forge an agreed path out of the conflict. I am convinced that we still can, along with the Syrian parties themselves," said Guterres in a video message to the fifth Brussels conference for Syria.

"I also call on you to help us address rising needs and to step up your financial and humanitarian commitments to people in Syria and help relieve the significant financial burden of the countries that are hosting refugees. The war in Syria is not only Syria's war. Ending it and the tremendous suffering it continues to cause is our collective responsibility."

For 10 years, Syrians have endured death, destruction, displacement and deprivation, he said.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed and millions injured. Over half the population has been forced from their homes. Countless others have been starved under siege, tortured, illegally detained, or forcibly disappeared, he said.

Half of the children in Syria have been born into war and know nothing else. Over 2 million Syrian children are refugees. They bear deep psychological wounds that will last a lifetime, he noted.

Things are getting worse, not better, warned Guterres.

More than 13 million people need humanitarian assistance to survive this year. That's over 20 percent more than last year -- and the majority of the population is now facing hunger. Another 10.5 million people -- Syrian refugees and those hosting them -- require support across the region, he said.

Syria's economy has been ravaged and now the impacts of COVID-19 have made things worse. Almost half of all families lost their source of income. Nine in 10 Syrians are living in poverty, he said.

For many, the humanitarian aid and protection brought by UN agencies and humanitarian partners are their only source of survival. Every month, humanitarians bring help to 7.6 million people in Syria, he said.

The United Nations is asking for 10 billion U.S. dollars to support Syrians in-country and host communities for Syrian refugees in need for 2021.

(Web editor: Guo Wenrui, Liang Jun)


Related Stories