Damascus – More than four million people in the Syrian capital Damascus suffer deteriorating living conditions amid acute shortage of drinking water, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on Thursday.
Damascus and surrounding areas have been cut off from the main water supply since 22 December.
“Two primary sources of clean and safe drinking water that serve 70 per cent of the population in and around Damascus are not functioning, due to deliberate targeting resulting in the damaged infrastructure,” OCHA reported.
The UN expressed deep concerns about the fate of millions of Syrians for lack of drinking water, stressing that the crisis could lead to waterborne diseases, particularly among children, beside the financial strain this is having on families.
Throughout Syria, close to 15 million people are in need of water assistance and households spend up to 25 per cent of their income to meet their daily water needs, according to the UN.
“The United Nations calls on all parties to reach peaceful agreements to alleviate the suffering of civilians, and that basic services, essential for survival, such as water supply, must be safeguarded and protected at all times,” it emphasized.
As the Syria crisis enters its sixth year, civilians continue to bear the brunt of a conflict marked by unparalleled suffering, destruction and disregard for human life.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that 13.5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 4.9 million people in need trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, where they are exposed to grave protection threats.