Shelter needed for 400,000 IDPs in Syria's Aleppo: UN Envoy

GENEVA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- As winter sets in, urgent shelter and equipment is needed for some 400,000 internally displaced people (IDP) in west Aleppo, with many more fleeing rebel-held eastern districts of the Syrian city every day, the UN special envoy for Syria said Thursday.

"If you had to ask what the most urgent need now from the UN is, it is shelter and assistance, because winter is there," Staffan de Mistura told reporters here after a weekly humanitarian taskforce meeting.

"There are 400,000 people including those who were already there in a rather uncomfortable situation, plus the 27,000 who have just moved and more are likely to move," he added.

Aleppo, Syria's former economic hub, has been bitterly contested by the Syrian army and opposition groups due to its strategic location.

Though unable to reach those who have not left east Aleppo, the UN said that it is managing to provide the 27,000 civilians who have done so with much needed food and medical aid.

"In west Aleppo, we have food for 150,000 people that we could bring to east Aleppo very easily, and we have all of the medical equipment and medicines that they need in east Aleppo," the special envoy's senior adviser, Jan Egeland, explained.

"It is prepositioned, we have people there. We basically need the access and we are sitting down now to discuss with Russia and with the government of Syria," he added.

Now in its fifth year, the Syrian conflict has resulted in heavy casualties. Staffan de Mistura said in April this year that the Syrian war had caused about 400,000 deaths and forced millions of others to flee their homes.

[ Editor: meng ]


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