Crisis deepens in Syria, needs outside help: UN

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Crisis deepens in Syria: UN
Damascus, Nov 5: As crisis continues in Syria, United Nations on Monday said that around 93 lakh people in the country - or about 40% of the population - need outside assistance.

This figure has risen by 25 lakh from the 68 lakh total the UN gave in September. Also, the organisation said that 65 lakh people are now homeless inside the country.

The Syria crisis "continues to deteriorate rapidly and inexorably", UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the security council. With neighboring countries such as Jordan warning that they cannot cope with the influx, Amos appealed to the council for its "help and influence" to press for greater access to give assistance inside Syria, AFP reported.

Jordan and Lebanon have both appealed for greater international assistance to cope with growing numbers crossing the border.
Jordan's King Abdullah II warned on Sunday that his country may take special measures if action is not taken over the refugees. "Jordan currently hosts around 600,000 Syrian refugees -- an issue that depletes our already limited resources and puts enormous pressure on our infrastructure," the king said in a speech to parliament.

The UN refugee agency says there are 541,025 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan, including more than 100,000 in a camp at Zaatari near the border with Syria.

The UN says there are more than 800,000 Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon. The government says there are more than 12 lakhs.
Jordan and Lebanon say the influx has put pressure on power and water supplies, health and education facilities and heightened social tensions as refugees battle locals for scarce jobs.

Syrian government has blocked access to visas, says aid agencies


Meanwhile, UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is set to hold talks with US and Russian diplomats aimed at paving the way for a Syria peace conference. In Geneva, Mr Brahimi will also meet representatives from the rest of the UN Security Council and Syria's neighbours ahead of the conference planned for later this month.

The Syrian government and opposition groups disagree over how the formal negotiations should be structured: the opposition demands that President Bashar al-Assad should resign, while Damascus says there should be no pre-conditions, reports BBC.

Last month, the UN Security Council expressed alarm at the "rapid deterioration" of the humanitarian situation in Syria and demanded immediate access for aid. It followed a resolution on eliminating Syria's chemical weapons.

Aid agencies complain that the Syrian government has hindered access to visas and tried to limit the number of foreign groups operating in the country.

Neighbouring countries such as Jordan are warning that they cannot cope with the influx of refugees crossing from Syria.
More than 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed since the conflict began.

One India News 

(With agency inputs)

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