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UN calls for $150m emergency aid for displaced Syrians

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled fighting in Eastern Ghouta and Tel Rifaat [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 March, 2018

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Syrians recently displaced from Eastern Ghouta and Tel Rifaat are in urgent need of aid, at a cost of at least $150 million, the UN said.

Aid groups in Syria need $150 million to provide urgent relief to a quarter-million people recently displaced by regime bombardment near Damascus and the Turkish offensive in the north.

UN coordinator Ali al-Za'atari said at least 80,000 people have fled Assad's Russia-backed offensive in the Eastern Ghouta suburbs, where shelling and airstrikes have killed hundreds of people in recent weeks.

He said 50,000 are still living in shelters, with many needing medical care.

He added another 180,000 displaced Syrians are in need in the northern town of Tel Rifaat, after Turkish forces seized the Kurdish-controlled town of Afrin.

On Wednesday, he told reporters in Damascus that "finance is coming, but is still beneath the required level".

Eastern Ghouta is home to more than 400,000 people living under crippling regime siege, with little access to food or medical resources. World leaders and government officials have sharply criticised the Assad regime for its indiscriminate bombing and called for an immediate halt.

Flouting demands for Syria ceasefires showed a "monstrous indifference" to the suffering of millions of children needing a respite from violence, top UN rights official Kate Gilmore said earlier this month.

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