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UN-coordinated humanitarian operation helped more Syrians in 2020: official
update:January 21,2021
UNITED NATIONS, Jan.21,2021 -- UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said Wednesday that the UN-coordinated humanitarian operation assisted an average of 7.6 million people a month across Syria in 2020.
The figure represents an increase of about 20 percent compared with the scale in 2019, he told the Security Council in a briefing.
The latest overview of global humanitarian needs for 2021, including for Syria, highlights that there are 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, and another 10.1 million people in need, including 5.5 million Syrian refugees, in the region.
"The needs are calculated on the basis of our independent assessments and they are the basis for our response, which focuses on life-saving humanitarian needs and repairs to critical humanitarian facilities," he said.
A total of 10 billion U.S. dollars is being requested for 2021, including 4.2 billion dollars for needs inside Syria, he said.
"We will continue to use every opportunity we have to deliver aid to those most in need. That will require adequate funding, improved access, and an end to the violence that has tormented Syrians for nearly a decade."
Amid an economic crisis, COVID-19 continues to ravage the country, said Lowcock.
While testing remains too limited to convey the true extent of the outbreak, there are indications that Syria may be experiencing a renewed wave of infections, he warned.
Cases reported in government-controlled areas increased by 64 percent between November and December. More than half of tests are coming back positive in the cities of Sweida and Tartous; 60 percent in Homs, he said.
Survey data in December revealed 45 percent of households as having lost one or more sources of income over the previous month because of restrictions related to COVID-19, he said. 
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