Forty-percent of Syrian population needs outside assistance

Some 9.3 million people in Syria – or about 40% of the population – now need outside assistance, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has said. This figure has risen by 2.5m from the 6.8m total the UN gave in September. The Syrian crisis "continues to deteriorate rapidly and inexorably", Ms Amos told the UN Security Council.

Weeks after cases of polio were confirmed, the Syrian government Tuesday announced a nationwide vaccination campaign to immunize every Syrian child against polio, measles, mumps and rubella, even in rebel-held areas. However, as Amos reported again Monday, international aid workers are still denied access to distressed areas.

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