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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Syria - Venezuela

18 Jun 2021

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The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza, meets with a worker at Tishreen Dam, located on the Euphrates in Aleppo Governorate, Syria, who told him that the current water shortage is the worst he has ever seen. © OCHA Syria

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 18 June 2021

Syria 

The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Muhannad Hadi, yesterday in a joint statement expressed concern about the humanitarian impact of low water levels in the Euphrates River for millions of people, many already struggling to cope following 10 years of crisis.

Millions of people in Syria rely on the Euphrates for drinking water and electricity generation. Low water levels are affecting important infrastructure, including hospitals and irrigation networks, and leading to widespread blackouts. 

The two senior UN officials warned of possible longer-term impacts should the situation not improve, including damage to agriculture, worsening food insecurity, livelihood losses and a severe undermining of overall public health. 

UN and humanitarian partners are working to mitigate the worst impacts of the crisis through emergency water delivery to affected families. But this is not a substitute for the long-term, regular and reliable access to water, sanitation, electricity, and other basic services which the Euphrates provides. 

 

Venezuela

Today, the UN and humanitarian partners in Venezuela launched the country’s 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan, which is aiming to help 4.5 million vulnerable people at a cost of about US$708 million.

The Plan focuses on health, malnutrition and food insecurity, human mobility and protection risks, and providing access to essential services, through life-saving emergency assistance, improved access to basic services to secure livelihoods, and ensuring protection for the most vulnerable.

It is guided by humanitarian principles and builds on efforts made in 2020 when the UN and partners reached 4.9 million people with some form of assistance. 

The UN calls for increased funding and access, including for national and international non-governmental organizations, to strengthen the response.