BEIRUT: The results of a donors’ conference next week in Kuwait will determine whether the United Nations will be able to “reach the poorest and most vulnerable families” in Syria, a top U.N. official warned Wednesday.
Valerie Amos, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief, was speaking during an annual global economic forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Amos said that during their visit this week to Syria and Lebanon, officials from eight U.N. agencies “expressed shock at what they saw; they were very clear that the effect of nearly two years of conflict has had a terrible impact on people, especially on children. I repeat: four million people need help, two million are internally displaced, and 400,000 out of 500,000 Palestinians refugees have been affected.”
To deal with the crisis, Amos pleaded for more human and financial resources, after a $1.5 billion plan has been put in place for the next six months.
“We hope that the [Kuwait] conference will yield the resources we need. If we do not receive these funds, we will not be able to reach the poorest and most vulnerable families who so desperately need our help,” Amos said.
The U.N. official said that she and her colleagues were “frustrated” by the challenges they were facing in Syria, “but every month we and our partners are feeding more people, delivering basic relief items, and supplementing basic health and education services.
“What we are seeing now are the consequences of the failure of the international community to unite and to resolve the political crisis after nearly two years. I hope that there is no doubt left in the mind of our political leaders as to the scale of the human tragedy unfolding in Syria.”