UN says one million Syrians need aid

Arab League head Nabil al-Arabi, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Libya's NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil at the summit in Iraq. AFP: Ahmad Al-Rubaye]
PHOTO

Arab League head Nabil al-Arabi, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Libya's NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil at the summit in Iraq. AFP: Ahmad Al-Rubaye]

VIDEO from Australia Network News

Arab leaders debate Syrian crisis

Created: 30/03/2012

AUDIO

More violence in Syria

Created: 30/03/2012

Anne Barker, Middle East correspondent

Last Updated: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 08:41:00 +1100

At least one million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid because they have been injured or forced out of their homes during the year-long conflict, the United Nations says.

A UN team has been in Syria to assess humanitarian needs as the violence continues into a second year.

They met Syrians directly affected by the violence, including many who were wounded, and families who have been displaced.

They estimate at least one million people need aid including food, medical assistance, bedding and blankets.

The UN notes civilians are also in need of protection and education.

Landmark talks


The report comes as Arab leaders debate the crisis at a special summit in Iraq.

The meeting is the first to be held in the country for more than 20 years.

Only 10 leaders from the Arab League's 22 member-states were present at the landmark talks.

They debated ways to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to make good his promise to accept a peace plan designed to stop the violence.

Some Gulf states - namely Qatar and Saudi Arabia - supported a proposal to supply arms to rebel groups

But Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al Maliki, has warned such a plan would lead to a wider proxy war in the region.

As the Arab summit began in Baghdad, Syrian forces continued their military assault of key rebel held areas.

More than 20 people were reportedly killed across Syria in 24 hours.

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