NEW YORK: The number of Syrians in urgent need of humanitarian aid has jumped to 10.8 million — nearly half of Syria’s population of 22 million — United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon said Friday.In his monthly report to the UN Security Council, Ban said that a total of 4.7 million Syrians are now in areas that are “difficult or impossible” for humanitarian workers to reach, including 241,000 in besieged areas.
That’s an increase from the previous estimate of 3.5 million people. The report warned that advances made by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants in Iraq would only further worsen the situation in Syria.
“Efforts to expand humanitarian assistance to those most in need have been met with continued delays and obstruction,” the report said. “Far from improving access, new procedures rolled out two months ago have resulted in more delays and reduced the reach of humanitarian partners further.” Of the 10.8 million total people in need of aid — a 17 percent, or 1.5 million increase from previous estimates — about 6.4 million are internally displaced. An estimated 160,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
BAGHDAD/BEIRUT: Shia Muslim militiamen and Iraqi army forces launched a counter-offensive against ...