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Syria: Lowcock (UN), over 1,700 people killed in Eastern Ghouta since late February


(From New York) “Over 1,700 people have been killed in military operations and air raids in Eastern Ghouta since late February”. This was stated on Tuesday by Mark Lowcock, undersecretary for humanitarian affairs and UN emergency coordinator, as he described the tragedy of this suburban area of Damascus at the meeting of the 15 members of the UN Security Council. In the last month, there have been at least 28 attacks on healthcare facilities and over 70 since the start of the year. “These months are some of the worst”, he went on as he described the devastating situation of the evacuees who “live in overcrowded and ill-equipped shelters, where water, toilets and utilities are really scarce”. Lowcock repeated that the United Nation agencies and their partners are working to support needy people, sometimes endangering the physical safety of the humanitarian workers, who keep on working despite the endless fights. “We are given scraps, convoys just occasionally and often before the meetings with the Security Council – Lowcock went on without mincing his words – but 5.6 million needy Syrians cannot live on scraps”. The undersecretary for humanitarian affairs also urgently asked them to jointly put pressure on all the parties involved, so as to give free access to aids and abide by the Security Council Resolution 2401, which asked to immediately put an end to hostilities and have sick people evacuated. The Syrian conflict has lasted longer than the Second World War and, since it started, in March 2011, over 13 million Syrians have been dependent on humanitarian aids, and this number includes 6.1 million evacuees within the country and over 5.5 million refugees outside of the country. Not to mention that one third of the country’s houses and dwellings have been destroyed, while 2.75 million children are not going to school and about two thirds of all children have lost a relative or their house and suffer from war-related traumas.

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