Humanitarian needs in Syria have increased 12 fold since the beginning of the crisis, now in its fifth year, with 12.2 million people needing humanitarian assistance, including more than 5.6 million children, a statement from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Friday.
According to OCHA, half of the population has been displaced, making Syria the largest displacement crisis globally, and more than 4 million people have been registered as refugees.
OCHA's statement added that a high level of civilian casualties and increased violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws, by all parties, indicate the significant protection and access concerns.
UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien is scheduled to visit Syria and Lebanon from Aug. 14 to 17 to see for himself the terrible humanitarian impact of the protracted conflict and violence.
O'Brien, also UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator to Lebanon and Syria, is expected to meet key officials in Damascus and Beirut to discuss ways of strengthening the aid operation to save lives and protect civilians.
The UN official plans to meet displaced and refugee families in Homs and the Beka'a Valley, and staff of humanitarian agencies and partners.