Tuesday Dec 03, 201307:26 AM GMT
Red Cross: A catastrophe could occur in Syria in winter
Tue Dec 3, 2013 6:51AM
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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has warned that one million people in crisis-hit Syria remain without food.


“A conservative estimate is a million people without food,” said a senior Red Cross official on Monday.

Simon Eccleshall, crisis management chief of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), also stated that the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), a local member of the IFRC, only has access to “about 85 percent of the territory in Syria on a regular basis.”

SARC can provide supplies to just half of the six million Syrians who have been forced to leave their homes but are still in the country, Eccleshall added.

The Red Cross official said a catastrophe could occur in winter, particularly in areas with severe violence, and that the number of people needing aid could spiral.

Meanwhile, Benoit Carpentier, an IFRC spokesman, has said that there are several areas in Syria that have not been “supplied for months due to the conflict and suburbs around Damascus for almost a year.”

“Obviously, the worst situation is in besieged areas and areas with severe violence. One should also remember that many have not had any income for more than two years. Female-headed households is another big group facing food insecurity,” Carpentier stated.

SARC has 3,000 volunteers in Syria, 32 of whom have been killed in the conflict.

The IFRC under-secretary general, Walter Cotte, says the main challenge for the organization is the normalization of the situation for many Syrians.

“We need to really highlight that there is a big humanitarian crisis killing people every day,” Cotte said.

The crisis in Syria, which erupted in March 2011, has taken its toll on the lives of more than 100,000 people, according to statistics compiled by the United Nations.

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