Syria's health system 'collapse'

Doctors Without Borders have said that aid to Syria is falling "drastically short" and the country's previously functioning health system has collapsed. One million people have fled the Syrian conflict, according to the UN.

Syria's health system 'has collapsed'

Syria’s previously well-functioning health system has collapsed according to a leading international aid organisation. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also said that food shortages are commonplace, and water and electricity supply have been severely disrupted.

“While the authorities in Damascus hold the key to breaking this deadlock and removing all obstacles to independent aid across the country, we call on the parties involved, for want of a political resolution, to reach at least a basic agreement on humanitarian aid to facilitate its provision through the most effective means possible.

– Christopher Stokes, MSF general director.

Syrian aid is 'falling drastically short'

International medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has said that aid is falling 'drastically short' of what is needed in Syria.

Attacking the lack of political movement MSF said, "the inability to secure a political resolution of the conflict must not be used as an excuse for the failed humanitarian response."

Newly arrived Syrian refugees wait to receive aid and rations at Al-Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq in January
Newly arrived Syrian refugees wait to receive aid and rations at Al-Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq in January Credit: Reuters

"Food shortages are commonplace, and water and electricity supply are severely disrupted. Parties involved in the Syrian conflict must negotiate an agreement on humanitarian aid in order to facilitate its delivery from neighbouring countries and across front lines within Syria." MSF said.

"Meanwhile, governments, the United Nations, and international donors must acknowledge the country’s fragmentation and help support non-governmental aid operations."

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Map shows movement of Syrian refugees

A UNHRC map shows the movement of Syrian refugees. Credit: UNHRC

Nearly 330,000 Syrian refugees are currently in neighbouring Lebanon, the UNHRC said today, as the figure for residents fleeing the conflict passed one million.

The UNHRC is encouraging Britons to donate to the relief effort by visiting unhrc.org.uk/syria or by texting NEED2610 to 70070 to send an automatic £10 gift.

Britain 'working closely' with aid agencies to help Syrian refugees

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said Britain was involved in an effort to support Syrian refugees:

Syria’s neighbours cannot deal with this alone and all donors must rapidly deliver on the promises they made in Kuwait.

We are working closely with agencies on the ground.

Britain has never stood on the sidelines and we are determined to make sure our support gets help to those in need as quickly and effectively as possible.

– Justine Greening

The UK has promised £139.5m in support for Syria since the start of the conflict and has so far allocated £87m of that funding, the government said.

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'1 in 5' people in Lebanon are now Syrian

UNHCR said the number of Syrians leaving their country has increased dramatically since the beginning of the year with more than 400,000 - nearly half the total figure - moving since January 1st.

Most have fled to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt and some arrive in North Africa and Europe.

It estimated:

  • 330,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon
  • 320,000 in Jordan
  • 185,000 in Turkey
  • 105,000 in Iraq
  • 43,500 in Egypt

Lebanon - the country closest to Syria's embattled capital of Damascus - is the smallest of the country's neighbours but has received the most refugees.

Including Syrian workers and self-supporting Syrian families, one in five people in Lebanon are now Syrian.

UNHCR: One million refugees have fled Syria

Snow covers the ground outside tents supplied by the UNHCR for Syrian families in the Domiz refugees camp in northern Iraq. Credit: BACA

One million people have fled the Syrian conflict, piling pressure on the country's neighbours who are struggling to support them, the United Nations refugee agency said today.

Around half the refugees are children, most of them aged under 11, and the numbers leaving are mounting every week, UNHCR added.

"With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiralling towards full-scale disaster," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said.