‘Highly explosive’ escalation of conflict and displacement across Syria’s Idlib, says top UN official

UNICEF/Giovanni Diffidenti
Boys pass rubble and destroyed buildings on their way to a nearby school offering basic lessons, in the city of Maarat al-Numaan, Idlib Governorate.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The situation inside Syria’s Idlib threatens to become “highly explosive” amid an uptick in conflict between armed groups and a spike in the number of people displaced inside the war-torn country, a top UN aid official said on Monday.

Panos Moumtzis, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, told journalists in Geneva that 1.2 million of the governorate’s more than 2.5 million population are now displaced; many of them multiple times.

The situation was “heartbreaking” and complicated by the fact that Idlib has become a haven for belligerents forced out of former strongholds by government forces and their allies, said the UN official.

He told journalists in Geneva that every part of Idlib had been in constant upheaval with fresh waves of fighters being forced to seek refuge there.

“We have seen in the last few weeks an escalation of even fighting between these groups that has taken place,” he said, noting that fighting had been occurring around health facilities and other civilian areas.

“A special solution needs to be found for all these groups inside Idlib, because the current composition makes it highly explosive.”

The first four months of the year have seen more than 900,000 people flee their homes inside Syria.

This is “the highest displacement number since the conflict started”, Mr. Moumtzis said, adding that eight in 10 people had come from Rural Damascus and Afrin in the north, while others had been displaced within Idlib governorate itself.

Across Syria, more than two million people are in so-called hard-to-reach areas and around 11,000 are still under siege in three opposition-controlled locations.

Some 6.2 million people are internally displaced and a further 5.6 million have fled the country amid ongoing conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and destroyed basic infrastructure.

Response to the seven-year conflict ‘at a breaking point’

With the $1.8 billion appeal for Syria only 26 per cent funded, the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator said on Monday that the international response to the seven-year conflict was “really at a breaking point”.

The shortage of funding meant that aid teams could not deliver “basic life-saving” aid where it was needed, despite having full access to areas such as Idlib, Mr. Moumtzis added, while calling for pledges made at a recent EU-hosted conference in Brussels, Belgium, to be disbursed promptly.

In an appeal for the belligerents – and international Member States with responsibility for preventing an escalation of conflict – the UN official stressed that every effort needed to be made to prevent the situation in Idlib deteriorating further and turning into a repeat of the devastation experienced in East Aleppo and East Ghouta:

Across the governorate, he said, “protection of civilians is of major concern, in particular given the composition; given the fact that there is a sizeable number of women, children, families living there.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Combat against devastating effects of tobacco can only be won ‘if the UN stands united’ – UN health official

These are the pitfalls of a cash-free society

What is ‘South-South cooperation’ and why does it matter?

Medicines from the sky: how drones can save lives

In the United States, there aren’t enough hours in the week to make rent

All talk but no action against fraudulent bankers

UNESCO lists wrestling, reggae and raiho-shin rituals as global treasures to be preserved

The EU Commission is lying to the “Right2Water” campaign

Russia won’t let Ukraine drift westwards in one piece

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

State aid: Commission approves €6 billion German measure to recapitalise Lufthansa

Hungary: people born in the 2020s won’t have legal rights any more to buy tobacco

Brexit: No withdrawal agreement without a “backstop” for the Northern Ireland/Ireland border

Coronavirus: 4 tips for parents who are homeschooling

Trade is not a weapon. Let’s not use it as one

Why sustainable packaging is good for profits as well as the planet

UN chief calls for ‘green and clean’ development in message for Africa Industrialization Day

The US starts an intense currency war to protect its global standing

5 things to know about how coronavirus has hit global energy

Solidarity Corps: more opportunities for young people

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

When is Berlin telling the truth about the EU banking union?

Cobalt mining is a global scandal. We must build an ethical battery

DR Congo: efforts to control Ebola epidemic continue, UN food relief agency doubles assistance to affected people

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

Five ways individuals can help save the oceans

UN chief condemns attack targeting international forces in northern Mali

MEPs call for a reduction in pesticides to protect bees

SMEs turning to alternative financing instruments as growth slows in bank lending

5G: How a ‘legion of robots’ could help save the rhino

Humans aren’t made for repetition – it’s time AI took over manufacturing

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

An economist explains how to value the internet

IQ scores have been falling for decades, new study finds

This is Germany’s $45 billion, 18-year plan to move away from coal

Greece lost a month that cannot be found neither in “mini Summits” nor in Berlin

When it comes to envirotech adoption, NGOs can lead us out of the woods

New state aid rules: Commission increases national support to farmers up to €25,000

UN sounds alarm as Venezuelan refugees and migrants passes three million mark

New Syria fighting represents ‘giant powder keg’, warns aid veteran, as he leaves UN stage

45th Anniversary of the French Confederation (Confédération Nationale des Junior Entreprises)

How Europe’s green tech ‘scale-ups’ can help tackle climate change

10 ways COVID-19 could reshape offices

Grave concern over escalating humanitarian crisis, casualties, displacement across northwest Syria: UN

What we need for a better European Solidarity Corps

Environmental labelling, information and management schemes are central to the circular economy

‘Fire-fighting approach’ to humanitarian aid ‘not sustainable’: Deputy UN chief

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth

Three trends shaping the future of mobility in 2020

European markets itchy with short-term disturbances

It will take a lot more than free menstrual pads to end period poverty

EU presses India for a free trade agreement

“An open China brings opportunities to Europe”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to EU

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

What are we actually working for?

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Sea urchins are overwhelming parts of the ocean. Could turning them into sushi be the solution?

World is closer than ever to seeing polio disappear for good

YO!FEST ENGAGES 8,000 YOUNG EUROPEANS IN FUTURE OF EU

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s