Snapshot 13 – 21 May
In Syria, the Syrian military continued its offensive on opposition-controlled Qusayr, a strategic city in Homs province connecting the capital to the Mediterranean coast. In addition, fighting continues in all of the 14 governorates, apart from Tartous and As-Sweida. On 19 May, President al-Assad insisted he would not resign before elections in 2014. The UN estimates that over 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria. While an estimated 4.25 million people are internally displaced, of which 1.25 million are concentrated in Aleppo and 705,200 in rural Damascus, the number of Syrians registered or awaiting registration in host countries has surpassed 1.5 million.
The crisis currently unfolding in the Central African Republic is now affecting the entire population of the country, some 4.6 million people, of which 2.3 million are children. According to UNICEF, the poor security situation across the country is severely hindering planned food distributions and other essential supplies from reaching beneficiaries. In addition, access is largely limited to towns and populations along main roads as of mid-May. Throughout the country, human rights abuses committed by Seleka rebel fighters, loyal to the new authorities, are reported by international organizations.
Military operations between warring parties have intensified in Sudan’s Darfur. According to an estimate released last week by OCHA, some 300,000 people have been forcibly displaced in Darfur since the beginning of this year as a result of inter-tribal fighting and conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and armed rebel groups.
Over the last week, Myanmar and Bangladesh have been affected by the tropical cyclone Mahasen even though the latter had considerably weakened over the past week and become a tropical storm as it made landfall. Although important damages and casualties were reported, both countries were nevertheless largely relieved that the results of the passing of Mahasen were not much worse. The storm had forced the evacuation of 1 million people to shelters. Preliminary estimates indicate that over 70 people were killed either by cyclone Mahasen or while trying to flee its impact in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Last Updated: 21/05/2013 Next Update: 27/05/2013