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Syrian government to act on polio outbreak as UN warns of deteriorating humanitarian crisis


Syria

Syrian government to act on polio outbreak as UN warns of deteriorating humanitarian crisis

A polio outbreak among Syrian children in the north east of the country has prompted a pledge from the government to support a nationwide immunisation campaign.

Experts fear the disease could quickly spread given the appalling conditions millions of Syrians find themselves in after two-and-a-half-years of civil war.

But will children in rebel-held areas receive the vaccines?

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad has promised the government intends to vaccinate each Syrian child regardless of where they were. He said humanitarian organisations would be given the opportunity to reach every Syrian child.

However Mekdad’s comments also implied that any failure would be due to the lack of rebel cooperation.

The government’s promise comes as a United Nations report estimates that 9.3 million Syrians, that is about 40 percent of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

With warnings of malnutrition in areas under military siege from President Bashar al Assad’s forces, the UN is calling for urgent humanitarian action.

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