'Status quo simply cannot continue in Syria' – UN humanitarian chief

More than five years since the unrest in Syria began, senior United Nations officials today stressed to the Security Council that the status quo in the war-torn country cannot continue, highlighting the effects of the conflict on civilians, especially women and children.

'Rare moment of diplomatic opportunity to end conflict in Syria,' says Ban as talks in Vienna reconvened

While members of an international support group for Syria engaged in “constructive dialogue” in Vienna on how to end the five-year conflict, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he is encouraged by the stakeholders reconvening to address the “grave situation” and bring about a political settlement to end the violence as soon as possible.

Joint UN body to probe chemical weapons in Syria is now ‘fully operational’

A joint body between the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria is fully operational as of today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security Council.

With new UN smartphone app, users can help feed Syrian refugee children with a simple tap

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today launched a free app that will allow smartphone users worldwide to feed hungry children with a tap on their screens.

Ban calls on world leaders to shun xenophobia and open their hearts to refugee influx

Voicing deep concern at those who exploit the suffering of refugees to stoke xenophobia and spew hate speech, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on European leaders, and the world at large, to stand true to the values of human of rights and respect the dignity of people fleeing conflict and poverty in Syria and elsewhere.

Syria: envoy says UN 'ready to support' Vienna talks; build momentum for political solution to conflict

Seeking to maintain momentum for renewed diplomacy towards a political settlement of the conflict in Syria, the United Nations Special Envoy on the crisis said today that the UN is ready to support any decision taken at the next round of international talks in Vienna this weekend and that he hopes the discussions yield some deliverables for the long-suffering Syrian people – namely, a lessoning of the violence.

‘Relief now, development later’ approach won’t work in Syria, UN development chief warns

The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today said the traditional response to crises of relief first and development later “is not tenable” in a protracted crisis like Syria, where the conflict is now well into its fifth year, and urged all actors to be engaged at the earliest stage in restoring basic services and supporting livelihoods.

UN food relief agency boosts value of vouchers for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon

Extremely vulnerable Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon will now receive higher-value electronic vouchers from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), with an average value of $21 per person per month, or 80 per cent of the full intended value of the vouchers.

Cholera spreading in Iraq, suspected case reported in Syria – UN health agency

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that it would start vaccine treatments for cholera beginning this weekend to prevent further outbreaks in Iraq, where the disease has now been confirmed in 15 out of 18 governorates, while the agency also reported a suspected case was also found in northern Syria.

Syrians living ‘tragedy and despair barely imaginable five years ago,’ says top UN relief official

The most senior United Nations humanitarian official today stressed that the failure of parties to the conflict in Syria to uphold the basic tenets of international law has propelled the Syrian people to levels of tragedy and despair which could barely have been imagined five years ago.