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More Syrians need aid now than at any time during war: UN

AP – More Syrians need humanitarian assistance now than at any time since the country’s civil war began in 2011, the United Nations (UN) Deputy Humanitarian Chief said, a sign that “the world is failing the Syrian people”.

Assistant Secretary-General Joyce Msuya told the UN Security Council that this week’s assessment of humanitarian needs found that 14.6 million Syrians will depend on assistance this year, a nine per cent increase from 2021 and a 32 per cent increase from 2020.

“This cannot be our strategy,” she said, stressing that Syria now ranks among the 10 most food insecure countries globally, with 12 million people having limited or uncertain access to food.

Msuya said Syria’s economy is spiralling further downward, food costs keep rising, and people are going hungry. The cost of feeding a family of five with only basic items has almost doubled over the past year.

Families are now spending on average 50 per cent more than they earn, which has meant borrowing money to get by, she said.

This has forced “unbearable choices”, including pulling children, especially girls, out of school and increasing child marriages.