Syrian Crisis: United Nations Response – Update No.4

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) at a working dinner with Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov (right). UN Photo/Evan SchneiderOn 8 August, the Secretary-General hosted a working dinner for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss the conflict in Syria, including the escalating humanitarian crisis and the rise in sectarian violence. During the discussion, the Secretary-General further underscored the need to find a political solution to the crisis and to urgently renew momentum for the holding of an international conference on Syria.

The Spokesperson for the Secretary-General said on 13 August that the Head of the UN Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian conflict, Professor Åke Sellström, and his team had completed all necessary logistical arrangements for their visit to Syria. Meanwhile, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, has continued her consultations with the Syrian Government with a view to reaching agreement as soon as possible on the modalities essential for cooperation to ensure the proper, safe and efficient conduct of the Mission.

According to OCHA, the intensifying violence is forcing more civilians to leave their homes, particularly in the Hassakeh and Dara’a governorates. In Latakia, local agencies expect the number of displaced families to reach over 3,000, who are estimated to need humanitarian assistance.

In the same report, OCHA notes that for the first time after 30 days under siege, aid was successfully delivered to Idleb via inter-agency convoys on 3 and 12 August. The convoy was coordinated by the UN Hub in Tartous with the support of the Logistic Cluster, SARC and OCHA. Assistance was provided by WFP, WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA and IOM. In total, this convoy will benefit 17,750 people with food; 50,000 people with high energy biscuits; 12,000 people with non-food items; 5,850 children with educational and recreational materials as well as 45,000 people with 3-months-worth of primary health care medicines.

On 13 August, a Spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP) said that in July the WFP had provided food for 2.9 million Syrians, and hoped to reach three million in August. This included work in areas that had been very difficult to access, meaning the WFP had reached 96 per cent of its intended recipients. Outside of Syria 1.1 million people had received food assistance.

Selection of UN stories:

In rural Homs, reaching families displaced by conflict
Homs, 12 August 2013- Families displaced by the Syrian conflict are taking shelter anywhere they can, and UNICEF is working to reach them with clean water, medicine and other essential assistance.

UNRWA and Partners Work to Support Students’ Psychosocial Well-being
The ongoing Syrian conflict has had a marked impact on already-vulnerable groups, including children, young people and refugees. With the support of important partners including the European Union (EU), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and others, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been working to respond to the psychosocial needs of Palestine refugee students affected by the conflict.

DPI Focus Page on Syria