(WNN) New York, New York, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: In what UNOCHA – the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – is calling “thousands in urgent need of relief” Syrian citizens in sealed off areas in Aleppo, Idlib, Rural Damascus and Homs are facing increasing crisis levels of shortages with fuel, electricity, medicines, water and food. The chronic need has caused civilian populations in numbers up to 400,000 to live without what UNOCHA describes as “basic necessities.”
“In Rural Damascus, several locations are increasingly difficult to access, leaving 1.2 million people in hard-to-reach areas in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Meanwhile, about 2,500 people are trapped in the Old City of Homs which has been under siege by Government forces for over a year. People lack food, safe drinking water and their health status is deteriorating rapidly,” says the global United Nations humanitarian agency.
Frustration is mounting as relief agencies have been blocked from bringing in humanitarian aid or in being able to evacuate people inside Syria who are in mounting health crisis and great need. A large part of those impacted under the conflict are the children of Syria who now make up almost half of the Syrian population. According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva (OHCHR), at least 6,500 of the estimated 93,000 deaths under the conflict have been children who have been killed between March 2011 to April 2013. Out of this number 1,700 of these children are below the age of ten.
Trapped for over a year in the ancient Syrian city of Homs, 2,500 people work to survive under conditions of siege by the Syrian government.
Children who have been drafted into the conflict as child soldiers is also occurring in increasing frequency.
“Children have been injured, detained, tortured, executed and forced to witness or commit atrocities,” outlined the OHCHR. “Many have been recruited as armed combatants with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic reporting 86 child combatants being killed in hostilities since March 2011,” the OHCHR continued.
Children that are said to number in the hundreds of thousands have lost their home, their security and their education as they’ve fled with family members to seek safety across the Syrian border into country regions like Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey. It is key for global human rigths activists and advocacy agencies to realize there is currently no clear safe passage for those who want to leave or enter the Syrian region as the conflict continues and escalates.
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