Oxfam wants improved access to Syria

2013-04-30 18:09
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Families flee Syria into Jordan

2013-04-30 12:51

Every day up to 4,000 Syrians risk their lives to reach safety in Jordan.WATCH

Amman - Aid organisation Oxfam urged the UN Security Council on Tuesday to help improve humanitarian access to war-torn Syria, saying more funds are needed as the "catastrophe worsens”.

As Oxfam chief Mark Goldring visited Syrian refugees in Jordan, the organisation called on the Security Council to press Damascus and rebels to help ensure aid reaches those most in need.

"This could mean allowing aid to cross lines of control and cross-border from neighbouring countries, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey," Oxfam said in a statement.

"The world risks failing the people of Syria at a time when they most need our help. Responding to this crisis is now our number one priority," it quoted Goldring as saying.

"Restrictions on access mean far too many vulnerable people are not getting the help they have a right to."

Nearly seven million people need humanitarian assistance in Syria, according to the UN.

Oxfam said that three months after $1.5bn was pledged for the UN six-month appeal, "just over half of the money has been received, much of it from Gulf countries."

"Refugee numbers have doubled in the first three months of the year and Oxfam warns that similar or even higher levels of funding will be required for the response in the future as the humanitarian catastrophe worsens," it added.

Over 1.4 million refugees

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday the number of Syrians who have fled their conflict-ravaged homeland has surpassed 1.4 million.

Jordan says it is hosting more than 500 000 Syrian refugees and the UNHCR expects the number to soar to 1.2 million by the end of 2013 - equivalent to a fifth of the kingdom's population.

"The aid effort... has been slow to get off the ground and now needs to be scaled up significantly," Goldring said.

"A massive increase in humanitarian assistance is required but we fear that instead of being stepped up, the reverse is more likely to happen and aid levels could soon decline."

Read more on:    un  |  unhrc  |  oxfam  |  jordan  |  syria  |  syria conflict

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