‘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.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

HPV vaccine: the silver bullet that saves women

Is there a chance for the West to win the war on terror?

Five years down the drain

4 things to know about the state of conflict today

Europe again the black sheep at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Towards a tobacco free India

Climate change: Direct and indirect impacts on health

MWC 2016 LIVE: Xiaomi looks to revive growth with flagships

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

Who will secure Lithuania?

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

To hope or doubt? The state of women’s progress in the world

UN, Somali Government seek $80 million in immediate relief for flood-affected populations

How do we build an ethical framework for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

An American duel in Brussels: Salesforce against Microsoft over Linkedin deal

Guinea President Alpha Condé: “We must tackle the root causes of migration”

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

A new catastrophic phase in the Syrian carnage

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

Eurozone and Britain heading in different directions

This is what countries are doing to fight plastic waste

5 ways to net a sustainable future for aquaculture

COP21 Breaking News_10 December:#ParisAgreement: Points that remain in suspense

DiscoverEU: 15,000 travel passes up for grabs to explore the EU this summer

European Fund for Transition to support more workers made redundant

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

Jade Spring Meeting 2017 – day 2: Coporate workshops, general assembly and magna moment

How can we build a workforce for our digital future?

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

New UN agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger

Service and Sacrifice: For Ghana, UN peacekeeping is a ‘noble opportunity to serve humanity’

The UN supports Europe’s military action in Libya and the Mediterranean; Russia and China agree

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

EU to present a “hefty” exit bill to the UK moments before Brexit negotiations

A Sting Exclusive: Towards better business opportunities for the EU and its neighbours, Commissioner Hahn live from European Business Summit 2015

These clothes grow with your child

UN’s AIDS agency ‘greatly encouraged’ by latest scientific breakthrough showing cure is possible

Counting spillovers from the fast track EU-US free trade agreement

What the car industry has done to help fight climate change – and what it needs to do next

What data dominance really means, and how countries can compete

Gig economy: Employment Committee MEPs want to boost workers’ rights

‘Crimes against humanity,’ ‘war crimes’ and risk of new ethnic violence in DR Congo, warn UN experts

Everything you need to know about the US government shutdown

The world’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity

Trump’s blasting win causes uncertainty and turbulence to the global financial markets

French elections: by the time the EU economy revives and the migration crisis is solved extremists could take over Europe

South Sudan: UN condemns ‘brutal’ sexual assaults on roads to Bentiu

Project Manager – 2024

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte: “Europe must listen to the people”

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

European Union: From financial consolidation to deeper political division

Volkswagen scandal update: “We want clarity fast, but it is equally important to have the complete picture”, Commission’s spokesperson underscores from Brussels

What the global Internet’s stakeholders can learn from Europe’s new data law

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

Women in Iceland have walked out of work to dispute the gender pay gap

More Stings?

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