UNITED NATIONS, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Despite operating challenges, relief workers in earthquake-stricken Syria have scaled up aid delivery to victims, UN humanitarians said on Thursday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that since the Feb. 6 temblor it has reached more than 1.2 million people with food together with aid partners. More than 340,000 people were reached with water, sanitation and hygiene services. Health partners have supported 2.6 million medical procedures.
OCHA said that the 398 million U.S. dollar emergency Syria earthquake appeal to aid 4.9 million people of the 8.8 million affected is 72 percent funded.
"However, the number of people in need in Syria was at its highest even before the earthquakes struck, with more than 15 million people in need of humanitarian aid and more than 90 percent of the people living in poverty," the humanitarian office said.
After 12 years of conflict and crises in Syria, essential services, including housing, health, education, water, and energy, continue to be impacted, OCHA said. Additionally, the earthquake hit Syria amid an active cholera epidemic and a water scarcity crisis. ■