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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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UN Rebukes Assad, Rebels, Equally for Millions Suffering in Syria

6.8 million needy, 4.25 million internally displaced, 1.3 million refugees—out of a rapidly shrinking population of 20.8 million.
Scene from the Zattari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.

Scene from the Zattari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.
Photo Credit: EPA

Almost seven million people need humanitarian assistance in Syria as a result of the two-year civil war there, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Ann Amos said on Thursday.

She explained that “the needs are growing rapidly and are most severe in the conflict and opposition-controlled areas” of Syria.

She cited data showing there are 6.8 million people in need—out of a rapidly shrinking population of 20.8 million—as well as an estimated 4.25 million people who have been internally displaced and an additional 1.3 million refugees who fled to neighboring countries.

The 15-member Security Council then urged both sides in the conflict “to ensure safe and unimpeded access for aid organizations to those in need in all areas of Syria.”

In the statement the council also deplored “the obstacles to the provision of humanitarian assistance and underlined the urgent need to remove all such obstacles, including those which are bureaucratic in nature.”

Under-Secretary-General Amos said that bureaucratic obstacles have grown since January, “inhibiting our ability to respond.” She added: “The limitations on the ground have forced us to being precariously close to suspending some critical humanitarian operations. We are approaching a point of no return.”

So the council statement also requested that shipments of food and medicine be allowed to cross borders if necessary, and called on all sides to “protect civilians and respect international human rights and humanitarian law, recalling the primary responsibility of the Syrian authorities in this regard.”

OK, so now we’re good, let’s go have a nice pizza…

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, addressing the UN Security Council by video link, said the number of refugees could surpass 3.5 million by the end of the year.

“These figures are terrifying. This is not just frightening, it risks becoming simply unsustainable,” he said, calling for more international support for countries hosting refugees, including Lebanon and Jordan.

Amos told the council that the number of approved non-governmental organizations in Syria was recently cut from 110 to 29, and the UN has just been told that every truck needs a permit signed by two ministers to pass government checkpoints.

“When I tell the council that a convoy from Damascus to Aleppo goes through 50 checkpoints—half of them government controlled—you will appreciate the impossibility of this request.”

In some ways it’s actually gratifying to observe how the UN Security Council is dealing with a situation that technically mirrors the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—except that both sides are crazy violent lunatics, making even the Hamas and the PLO look relatively civilized in comparison—and is just as paralyzed and totally unable to help anyone do anything right.

“We cannot do business this way,” Amos said. She’s so right.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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2 Responses to “UN Rebukes Assad, Rebels, Equally for Millions Suffering in Syria”

  1. Don't worry as soon as Israel announces new construction in Jerusalem the UN will go back to ignoring this.

    Everybody knows the most horrible event in the entire history of the world – is Jews building in their own capital. Nothing else comes close.

  2. It really seems like Israel lost the 6 day war when it comes to the temple mount.
    Month by month, and week by week the middle east spins more out of control. Iran continues unwavering on it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons and Assad the dictator of Syria is still in power. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Assad of Syria looks like he may be willing to use weapons of mass destruction against his own people and against near by nations as well. If this situation does not drastically change soon for the better, I believe the war in Isaiah Chapter 17 will likely take place. Damascus Syria would be destroyed. The worlds economy would likely collapse as a result and could usher in a one world government movement. I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon as well as the potential trends I see at this time. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

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