UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- UN humanitarian office (OCHA) operations director John Ging has referred to the humanitarian needs in Syria as "enormous" after the longstanding crisis and violence has led to a large number of internally displaced persons and a massive influx of Syrian refugees into neighboring countries, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said here Monday.
Speaking at a daily news briefing here, Nesirky quoted Ging, who is in Syria for a visit, as saying that "the humanitarian needs are enormous and we must find ways to immediately increase the scale of operations."
Ging is currently in Syria with emergency coordinators from several UN agencies, including the UN Children's Fund, the UN refugee agency, the World Food Program, the World Health Program, the UN relief and works agency and UN HABITAT.
The visit was coordinated with both the Syrian government and the opposition forces.
Nesirky said the delegation is in Syria to "assess humanitarian needs and identify ways to increase access to people in need in all areas of the country."
The spokesman said the group was shocked by what they saw in Talbiseh and Homs, two cities in the country that have seen heavy fighting over the 23-month long conflict.
"The delegation met with people in dire need of food, healthcare and access to clean water," said the spokesman. They also met children, who have been particularly affected by the fighting and urgently need psychosocial support and access to school.
Ging said he was "encouraged that the delegation was able to cross the conflict lines, which demonstrates that, where there is political will, there is a way to ensure that international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles are upheld, even during such intense conflict."