(DAMASCUS, Syria) — The United Nations made a stark assessment Thursday of Syria’s ongoing humanitarian crisis in the midst of the ongoing conflict between the government and rebel forces.
U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said that back in March, when the civil war was about a year old, an estimated one million Syrians were in need of assistance.
But in returning to Damascus, Amos told reporters Thursday that as many as 2.5 million people, or about 10 percent of Syria’s population, are facing a humanitarian crisis, largely due to the escalation of the war by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Attacks on rebel strongholds in Damascus and Syria’s largest city of Aleppo have intensified recently, causing many to flee their homes. However, many civilians are stuck where they are, caught in the crossfire.
Amos contends that the U.N. has limited resources to help Syrians and appealed to the international community to step up their contributions. She also asked al-Assad’s government to ease restrictions so that aid groups can reach those in dire need of help.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Camille Verdier, Steve Visser and Margot Haddad, CNN
Dave Gilbert, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN
Marisa Russell, CNN