Syria

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos Statement on Syria - Tuesday, 31 December 2013

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I am extremely concerned with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Aleppo, Syria, where hundreds of people have been killed or injured due to indiscriminate attacks against civilians in recent weeks.

Heavy shelling carried out by the Government and armed groups in several neighbourhoods continues to threaten the lives of ordinary people, mostly women and children.

Since the conflict began in 2011, most of Aleppo’s hospitals have been damaged or destroyed. Those still functioning are overwhelmed with the sudden influx of people who have been injured during the latest attacks. The insecurity continues to have a major impact on our efforts to reach people with life-saving assistance.

I join UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in strongly condemning the attacks against civilians in Aleppo and in many other parts of Syria. Fighting across the country, which has claimed the lives of over 100,000 people so far, needs to stop; people have suffered enough.

I remind all parties to the conflict of their obligation under international humanitarian and human rights law, and their responsibility to ensure the protection of civilians. This was underscored in a consensus Security Council Presidential Statement adopted nearly three months ago. Humanitarian organizations continue to operate in a neutral and impartial manner, but need unhindered access to safely reach everyone, no matter where they are.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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