UN humanitarian chief in Damascus for talks

2013-09-05 10:32
A Syrian Kurdish child sitting on a bed at the Quru Gusik refugee camp, 20km east of the of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (Safin Hamed, AFP)

A Syrian Kurdish child sitting on a bed at the Quru Gusik refugee camp, 20km east of the of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (Safin Hamed, AFP)

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Damascus - UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus on Thursday for talks with government officials, a UN source told AFP.

Amos's visit comes shortly after the United Nations announced that the number of Syrian refugees had passed the two million mark since the country's conflict began in March 2011.

Amos, who is due to leave Syria on Friday, has visited Damascus before, and has called in recent months for increased attention to the plight of Syria's displaced and refugee population.

Last month, she joined UN rights chief Navi Pillay in calling for increased humanitarian access to Syria.

"Insecurity, coupled with bureaucratic constraints and limitations on the number of NGOs allowed to operate in Syria, continue to prevent aid reaching all those in need," Amos warned.

Earlier this week, the United Nations said more than two million Syrians have fled their country, and another 4.2 million are internally displaced by the conflict.

More than 110 000 people have been killed in the violence, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an NGO that gathers information from a network of activists, lawyers and doctors on the ground.

Read more on:    un  |  syrian observatory for human rights  |  navi pillay  |  syria  |  syria conflict

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