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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.


21 March 2014

“It’s not just a humanitarian issue, a need to feed people,” Dr. Fouad M. Fouad, a Syrian doctor who studies the impact of the conflict, told a conference at the American University of Beirut last week. “It’s a historical, geopolitical issue.” Aid workers are scrambling to refocus public attention on Syria. Private donations for Syrians have lagged far behind those for other emergencies, like the recent typhoon in the Philippines, international aid groups say.


21 March 2014

Now aid workers believe starvation cases are increasing in besieged areas of Syria and malnutrition is spreading among the poorest Syrian refugees. (..) A survey in Jordan found that 4 percent of Syrian refugee children under five needed treatment for moderate or acute malnutrition, the World Food Programme said on Monday.


21 March 2014

At the new Safeway store in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, the Syrian cashiers wear bright blue tabards that read "here to help you". There is no need for cash. The shop accepts World Food Programme (WFP) food vouchers and will soon switch to pre-paid debit cards. "Syrians are among the gourmets of the region and like a diverse, sophisticated diet that we can't provide through regular food distribution," says the WFP's Jonathan Campbell.


13 March 2014

The human degradation in Syria, notably in areas besieged by the army, has reached levels unimaginable three years ago.


13 March 2014

The head of the United Nation's refugee agency said on Tuesday it must be ready in case Ukraine's crisis causes refugees to flee Crimea, but his biggest worry is that "a total disaster" could occur if the international community diverts its attention away from Syria's conflict. Antonio Guterres, the head of the U.N.'s High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), said in an interview that little progress was being made in efforts by the United States and Russia, now at loggerheads over Ukraine, to bring Syria's warring sides together after the collapse of talks in Geneva last month.


13 March 2014

As Syria's uprising-turned-civil-war enters its fourth year there is little sign of an end to the suffering that has forced 2.5 million people to flee, principally to Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt. The conflict has internally displaced a further 6.5 million, and left 9.3 million in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN figures. More than 180,000 people have simply disappeared, reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Overall, the total refugee outflow rose more than four-fold in 2013.