No sooner than Muslim heads of state from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation suspended Syria from their ranks, re-emphasising President Bashar-al-Assad's increasing isolation, than the United Nations revealed staggering statisicts: that some two-and-a-half million Syrians need help.
The devastating effect of the fighting between militia loyal to Assad and anti-government forces has worsened since the recent and continuingly vicious assault on Aleppo. There's been a surge in the sheer numbers of people who're at risk, who've been displaced and who now have nothing. At a news conference in the capital Damascus, the UN Humanitarian Relief Co-Ordinator and British peer, Baroness Valerie Amos continued to press for improved access to areas where people were in desperate need for food, water, shelter and basic medical supplies.
She says "All parties must do more to protect civilians. The humanitarian situation has worsened since I was here in March. Over million people have been uprooted and face destitution. Perhaps a million more have urgent humanitarian needs due to the widening impact of the crisis on the economy and on people's livelihoods. Back in March we have estimated that a million people were in need for help; now as many as 2.5 million are in need for assistance and we are working to update our plans and out funding requirements."
Baroness Amos visited a temporary shelter set up in a boy's school in the capital. She listened to the experiences of displaced people and chatted to Red Crescent volunteers who were helping them.