POST TIME: 10 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Civilian suffering worse than ever in 7-year Syria war: UN

Civilian suffering worse than ever in 7-year Syria war: UN

BEIRUT: The living conditions of civilians inside Syria are worse than ever, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday, with the conflict set to enter its eighth year, reports AFP.

“The conditions faced by civilians inside Syria are worse than ever, with 69 percent languishing in extreme poverty,” Grandi said during a visit to Lebanon.

The war in Syria started in March 2011 when protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad sparked a brutal crackdown that led to one of the deadliest conflicts of our time. “This seven-year war has left a colossal human tragedy in its wake. For the sake of the living, it is high time to end this devastating conflict,” Grandi was quoted as saying in a statement.

March 15 is widely accepted as the conflict’s anniversary date.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, more than 340,000 people have been killed since then in a conflict the UN says caused the worst displacement since World War II.

The collapse of the “caliphate” proclaimed by the Islamic State jihadist group over swathes of Syria has not brought the conflict to an end and Grandi said civilians were suffering more than ever. “The share of families spending more than half of their annual income on food has risen to 90 percent, while food prices are on average eight times higher than pre-crisis levels,” he said.

The regime, with decisive military backing from Russia, is steadily reconquering areas it lost in the earlier stages of the conflict.