For an in-depth understanding of the state of the humanitarian crisis — in this case, in the Syrian city of Aleppo, you can read this detailed Joint Rapid Assessment of Northern Syria – Aleppo City Assessment (PDF).
It’s been described as one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time, the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. Since erupting two and a half years ago, the war in Syria has claimed some 100,000 lives and caused an exodus to a scale not seen in decades. So far, millions of Syrians have been displaced and poured into neighbouring countries to live in makeshift camps under extremely harsh conditions. Za’atari is such a place. Rough, dusty, barren, the refugee camp, located on the border of Syria and Jordan is fast growing into a metropolis and now accommodates around 120,000 people. For the families struggling to survive the conditions of the desert camp – what is daily life like for them? This diary takes you right inside the refugee camp. Over the next four weeks, our crew will immerse themselves in Za’atari, giving you unprecedented insight into the lives of three refugees who agreed to share their stories – stories of resourcefulness, ingenuity and resilience in the most extraordinary circumstances.
David Keen, in this 6 November 2013 op-ed in the New York Times, When ‘Do No Harm’ Hurts, makes an excellent point:
“…funding for humanitarian aid in Syria continues to fall far short of appeals, and opportunities for helping local councils and a variety of Syrian relief organizations continue to be missed. So too, crucially, does the opportunity for cross-border relief (notably from Turkey). As in most humanitarian emergencies, United Nations agencies have been putting their faith in delivering aid to rebel areas via government-held areas. But as happened so often in the past, the assumption of government cooperation has proved overly optimistic…
A 4 November 2013 article by Reuters says:
The United Nations estimates that around 9.3 million people in Syria or about 40 percent of the population need humanitarian assistance due to the country’s 2-1/2-year civil war, the U.N. humanitarian office said on Monday.
A number of other groups are helping to support the children of Syria. They include:
Among the grim anecdotes of the civil war playing out in Syria comes perhaps the most sobering report of all – that bored snipers are playing a “death game” and their targets include children and pregnant women. The story was reported on CBS News.