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UN delegation gauge impact of crisis in Syria

English.news.cn   2013-01-20 23:55:24            

DAMASCUS, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- A delegation of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Sunday visited Syrian Ministry of Health and held a meeting with Syrian Health Minister Saad al-Nayef.

Nayef said following the meeting he has informed the UN team about the reality of what is going on in Syria, in terms of the armed groups' attacks against ambulances, hospitals as well as the country's infrastructure.

The minister said that he complained to them about the " outrageous" economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States on Syria, adding that he asked them to reinforce Syria's medical sector with "qualitative" medication which the minister said have become difficult to get in the midst of imposed sanctions.

For his side, Rick Brennan, emergency director of World Health Organization (WHO), said the discussion with the health minister was "fruitful" and that "we have a better understanding now how to expand access to health care for all Syrians in all areas of the country."

The OCHA team, headed by Operations Director John Ging, arrived in Syria on Friday on a mission to gauge the impact of the long- standing crisis on the humanitarian aspects.

Meanwhile, the OCHA delegation, comprising of the Emergency Directors from FAO, IOM, UNHABITAT, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNRWA, WFP and WHO, is set to visit the central province of Homs on Monday as part of their assessment mission.

An estimated four million people in Syria are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including at least two million who are internally displaced, recent data showed.

More than 650,000 Syrian refugees have fled the crisis for safety in neighboring countries, North Africa and Europe.

Editor: yan
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