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World News | UN warns 90% of Syrians live below poverty line, millions face food aid cuts


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United Nations, June 30 (AP) The UN humanitarian chief has warned that Syria’s 12-year conflict has pushed 90 percent of the country’s population below the poverty line and that millions of people will die next month because of a lack of funds. will face food aid cuts.

Martin Griffiths says the $5.4bn UN humanitarian aid to Syria – the largest in the world – is only 12% funded, meaning emergency food aid for millions of Syrians in July Possibly 40% less.

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Griffith delivered the grim news to the UN Security Council, calling on member states to extend a mandate for aid from Turkey to the rebel-held northwest of the country, which expires on July 10.

But the Russian ambassador to the United Nations called the cross-border aid delivery a “zero-sum game” that undermines Syrian sovereignty, discriminates against government-controlled territory and fuels illegal armed groups, including “terrorists in Idlib”. “.

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The Syrian uprising, now in its 13th year, has turned into a conflict that has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half of the pre-war population of 23 million. In February, a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook large swaths of Syria, further compounding the country’s misery.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Griffiths, who returned from Damascus on Wednesday, said the Syrian people were facing “severe humanitarian challenges”. He said they gathered on Thursday on the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha with “less food on their plates, little fuel in their stoves and limited water in their homes” while helping at the UN and its humanitarian partners With limited means, they encountered difficulties.

Russia’s ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said a $397 million emergency humanitarian appeal to help earthquake victims had been funded in the first few months, but by the end of June the overall U.N. The appeal was only 12% funded. He accused the U.S. and its allies of spending far more on Ukrainian weapons than the $55 billion the U.N. has sought this year to meet global humanitarian needs, saying “that lays out very clearly the priorities of the West.”

Barbara Woodward, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations, countered that the $190 million Britain’s June 15 pledge brought Britain’s contribution to Syria to more than $4.8 billion to date, saying: “Following Russia’s recent announcement to spend money, we Look forward to Russia announcing its contribution in due course.” Wagner Group $2 billion per year. “

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Wagner and its founders had received more money from the Russian government over the past year after Wagner’s mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin and his forces staged an insurgency inside Russia. Nearly $2 billion.

Woodward, who visited the Turkish-Syrian border earlier this month, echoed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call to extend the authorization for cross-border aid deliveries for 12 months to ensure humanitarian access for 4.1 million people in northwestern Syria. assistance.

In January, the Security Council approved a resolution extending humanitarian aid to Idlib by six months until July 10, at Russia’s request. Many asylum seekers in the region have been displaced by the conflict. The resolution allowed for the continued delivery of aid through the Bab al-Hawa crossing, but after the earthquake, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad allowed aid to pass through two other crossings at Bab al-Salameh and al-Rai.

The U.S. made its largest commitment to Syria on June 15, at $920 million, said Deputy U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, saying it would keep all three border crossings open for 12 months “Critical.” Citing Guterres’ latest report, he said any shortfall would be insufficient to meet the unprecedented humanitarian needs in the northwest. The UN secretary-general called it a “moral and humanitarian imperative”.

Russia and Syria have urged aid to be delivered across the conflict line to the northwest, and UN aid chief Griffiths said a convoy of 10 trucks had recently traveled safely from Aleppo to Idlib, providing supplies for some 22,000 people. aid. But Russia’s Nebenzia believes it was the only cross-line delivery in the past six months, “obviously timed to coincide with today’s meeting”.

“Do you really want us to think the cross-line situation is satisfactory after this?” he asked.

Expanding the early recovery program, another key requirement from Syria and Russia, “is the humanitarian community’s best chance to support the future of the Syrian people,” Griffith said.

He urged a stronger international consensus on the importance of these schemes, and loosen the rules to allow not only vocational training but also mentoring of young people, the construction of irrigation systems without treating them as “development” projects, and the opening of Schools, whether or not they are described as “restored” or “rebuilt”. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have revised or edited the body of content)


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