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MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
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Red Cross: Half a million wounded
Agence France Presse
A wounded Syrian woman walks with her children following airstrikes on a rebel area of the war-torn northern city of Aleppo on December 15, 2013.(AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED AL-KHATIEB)
A wounded Syrian woman walks with her children following airstrikes on a rebel area of the war-torn northern city of Aleppo on December 15, 2013.(AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED AL-KHATIEB)
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BEIRUT: Half a million people across war-hit Syria have been wounded, many of them lacking access to basic health care and treatment, the International Committee for the Red Cross said Sunday.

Millions have also been displaced inside Syria and tens of thousands detained, ICRC chief Magne Barth said in a statement.

“At least half a million people have been wounded across the country and millions remain displaced and tens of thousands detained,” he said. “The wounded are often not cared for properly, and the chronically ill often do not receive the treatment they need.”

The ICRC urged the Syrian government and the rebels to allow humanitarian assistance to reach all people affected by the conflict.

Barth said Syrian authorities were preventing access to rebel-held areas besieged by loyalists troops, including in Homs and Damascus provinces, despite saying more humanitarian assistance was needed.

“Our staff are still not allowed to enter besieged areas to deliver aid, including much-needed medical supplies, to all people in need whoever they may be,” Barth said.

The World Food Program said Monday that half of Syria’s population of around 23 million was “food insecure” and nearly a third needed urgent assistance.

The ICRC said a harsh winter that hit the region earlier than expected this year has added to the “misery” of millions of Syrians displaced internally and refugees sheltering in neighboring countries.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 126,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict erupted in mid-March 2011.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 23, 2013, on page 8.
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