GENEVA, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Two years into the conflict, the humanitarian crisis in Syria continues to deepen, a spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday.
"If the violence continues unabated, we could in the short-term see considerably more than the current four million in need of urgent assistant, and more than two million internally-displaced in Syria," said Jens Laerke from OCHA.
To ensure the assistance delivered by UN agencies reaches more people, agencies are expanding their local partnerships from the current 70 organizations, and continue to urge the Syrian government to allow more international NGOs into the country.
Elisabeth Byrs, a spokesperson with the World Food Programme (WFP), told reporters that WFP was scaling up its food aid operations in Syria to reach 2.5 million vulnerable Syrians by April.
WFP has been reaching up to 1.5 million people with emergency food assistance since September 2012, Byrs said.
Speaking by phone from Damascus, Elizabeth Hoff, the World Health Organization (WHO) representative, told reporters that about 55 percent of public hospitals as well as many private hospitals had been damaged in the conflict along with nearly 80 percent of ambulances.
More than a third of the remaining hospitals are out of service and more than half the ambulances are not functional as both sides in the conflict use them for military purposes, she said.
Hoff added that rural areas around Damascus were difficult to reach. "When we are talking about four million people that are critically in need of humanitarian aid, this number is growing every day," she said.
She also raised concerns about the country's water and sanitation system and an increase in the number of injured civilians, especially with severe burns.