UNITED NATIONS (Dispatches) – A convergence of factors, including foreign-backed war, an economy hit by U.S. sanctions and COVID-19, are contributing to growing needs across Syria, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday.
Health, water and sanitation infrastructure are poor or non-existent all around the country. As of January 2021, around 13.4 million people are estimated to require some form of humanitarian and protection assistance. This is an increase of more than 2 million people compared with 2020, said OCHA in a release.
Some of the greatest needs are in food insecurity. The World Food Programme estimates that at least 12.4 million people, nearly 60 percent of the population, are now food insecure. In one year, an additional 4.5 million Syrians have become food insecure, it said.
Humanitarian assistance is a lifeline for millions of people in Syria, making the humanitarian response in all its forms, including cross-line and cross-border, critical, said the office.
The administration of President Bashar al-Assad blames Washington and its cruel sanctions on the country for the deteriorating situation in the country.
Syria has denounced unilateral sanctions imposed by the US against the war-stricken country as "crimes against humanity”, saying the Western sponsors of terrorism must pay the price for their atrocities against the Syrian nation.
Over the past years, the U.S. has been maintaining an illegal military presence on Syrian soil, collaborating with anti-Damascus militants and stealing the country’s crude oil resources.
It has slapped rounds of crippling sanctions on Syria, which has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.
Parts of the restrictive measures have been imposed under the so-called Caesar Act, an American piece of legislation that alleges to support the Syrian people by protecting them against the Syrian administration’s way of governance.
The bans target almost all Syrian economic and trade activities, as well as the country’s government officials.