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4 April 2014

The U.N. refugee agency says the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has exceeded 1 million, calling it a "devastating milestone" for the tiny Arab country with depleted resources and an explosive sectarian mix of its own. Three years after Syria's conflict started, Lebanon has become the country with the highest per-capita concentration of refugees worldwide, struggling to cope with a massive crisis that has become an unprecedented challenge for aid agencies.


31 March 2014

The delivery of humanitarian assistance, particularly to women, in crisis situations requires more innovative and cost effective tools and strategies, a UN official has said. Commenting on the Syrian humanitarian crises, Muhannad Hadi, WFP regional emergency coordinator for Syria and neighbouring countries, said: “The WFP moves around 40,000 metric tonnes of food each month to feed close to four million people across Syria. This is one of the WFP’s largest and most complex operations worldwide. We are grateful for the generous contributions that have enabled us to save lives. The WFP requires $40 million each week to assist affected people in Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries.”


26 March 2014

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed the Syrian government and opposition Monday for escalating violence and blocking aid to millions in desperate need of help, despite pledges from both sides to comply with a Security Council resolution demanding immediate access everywhere in the country to deliver aid. Despite the worsening security environment, the UN World Food Program and its partners provided food to 3.7 million people in February, Ban said. But he added, "the assistance reaching people continues to fall far short of what is required to cover even their basic needs."


24 March 2014

In Jordan, the vast majority of about 600,000 registered Syrian refugees shelter in towns and cities, not camps, and they are struggling just to survive. Almost four out of five Syrian refugees in Jordan live outside the formal camps, but get nothing like the same amount of international attention. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says it is concerned that many Syrians living in urban areas have "reached the limits of their ability to cope", finding it hard to pay rents, while facing inadequate housing and educational challenges for children. Zarqa is drawing Syrians fleeing the violent three-year civil war because of its proximity to the border and its relative affordability compared with other towns, such as Mafraq and Irbid, where rents and food prices have skyrocketed.


24 March 2014

At least 20 humanitarian aid trucks sent by the UN have crossed the Turkish border into Syria bringing food, blankets, mattresses, family kits, hygiene kits, medicines and medical supplies. Four UN agencies are taking part in the convoy with the support of OCHA: the World Food Programme, the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization along with the International Organization for Migration.


21 March 2014

Several U.N. aid trucks crossed from Turkey into Syria for the first time on Thursday, a Reuters witness said, a step relief officials hope will pave the way for greater humanitarian access to area hardest hit by the country's civil war. The trucks, mostly from the U.N. World Food Programme, crossed at the Nusaybin border post taking food supplies, bedding and medicine to the ethnic Kurdish city of Qamishli in Syria, according to officials. "It is the first time in three years of this brutal conflict that the U.N. has been able to carry aid across into Syria from Turkey," Nigel Fisher, the United Nations' regional humanitarian coordinator, said in a statement.


21 March 2014

A U.N. convoy of about 80 trucks is ready to cross the Turkish border into Syria for the first time, aid officials said on Wednesday, in a step they hope will pave the way for humanitarian access to the country's most desperate areas.


21 March 2014

Days after the Security Council resolution, the Syrian government agreed to let the United Nations and its partners enter from Turkey. But for two weeks, 80 trucks have been waiting on the Turkish side of the border, packed with clothing, food, and other aid bound for people living in the vast Hasakah Province, where no aid has arrived for a year.


21 March 2014

It's not just the refugees who are adapting to the new timeline. The aid agencies must change, too. They know their work is not about a quick fix anymore. They are starting to design programs to prepare Syrian refugees for an exile that could go on for years. (..) Recently, a modern supermarket store opened inside the camp with bright lights and wide aisles. These Syrians come from a culture of small bakeries, vegetable stands and the corner store.


21 March 2014

In the shadow of the Crimean crisis, the civil war in Syria risks being forgotten. As the number of those in desperate need continues to grow, financial aid from abroad is diminishing and the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) has sounded the alarm, EurActiv Germany reports.