Fresh figures have been released suggesting the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Syria is much greater than previously reported.
11.5 percent of population killed or injured since 2011
The United Nations stopped collecting statistics on the number of deaths and displaced 18 months ago. Then, they put the figure of fatalities directly or indirectly caused by war at 250,000.
However, new numbers released by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research suggest that figure could actually be as high as 470,000.
It says 45 percent of the population is displaced, “ruining” human development.
The SCPR says, in total, 11.5 percent of the population has been killed or injured in the almost five-year civil war in Syria, which erupted in March 2011.
As a result, life expectancy has dropped by 14 years and six months; from 70 in 2010, to 55.4 in 2015.
The Centre says the conflict has had a “catastrophic impact” on Syria’s wealth, infrastructure and institutions, which have been “almost obliterated,” its report finds.
Fighting in Aleppo displaces 50,000
The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned intensified fighting in Syria’s Aleppo Province has displaced some 50,000 people.
More than 30,000 have fled north to the Turkish border. However, the frontier remains largely closed, forcing aid groups to set up makeshift camps on the Syrian side.
Food and supplies are being driven across to the border to the temporary settlements in Oncupinar. For the moment, local authorities insist there is no need to open the frontier.
Strikes on Aleppo Province
Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air strikes and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, have been gaining on Aleppo, which has been rebel-held since 2012.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the assault will force tens of thousands more refugees to flee Syria.
Turkey is home to the world’s biggest refugee population, with 2.5 million Syrians already sheltering there.
Erdogan advocates creating a ‘safe zone’ within Syria. Speaking on Thursday (February 11) he said “new ways of keeping Syrians in their country need to be sought.”
He added that the crisis can not be solved without a no-fly zone and other safe areas within Syria.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has called on Moscow to participate in efforts to facilitate a ceasefire. Russian news agencies report Moscow is ready to discuss a possible pause in fighting.
The two nations are joining other world powers in Munich to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Syria.