Conflict & Justice

Valerie Amos, UN humanitarian chief, to visit Syria


UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos (R) gives a joint press conference with Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (C), during her official visit on August 13, 2011 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The head of UN disaster relief heads to Syria and Lebanon Tuesday.


John Moore

Valerie Amos, the United Nations' humanitarian aid chief, will visit Syria and Lebanon on Tuesday to troubleshoot ways to end the region's ongoing conflict. 

Amos will meet with Syrian authorities, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and other aid agencies, and Syrian families who have fled to neighboring Lebanon during her three-day visit, Reuters reported

Around  37,000 Syrians have taken refuge in Lebanon, according to UN figures, RIA Novosti reported. There are also hundreds of thousands of refugees in Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. 

However, some diplomats don't believe real progress can be made until the violence dies down. 

More from GlobalPost: Q & A: Is there still a role for the UN in Syria?

"As long as you have violence going on areas with the greatest needs, it becomes an access question. You can't do it with bullets flying," a Western diplomatic source who wished to remain anonymous told Reuters. "Announcing someone has access is insignificant if the shells are still falling." 

Amos will attempt to find ways to lessen the conflict's impact on civilians and scale up relief efforts in the region, Bloomberg Businessweek reported

“The humanitarian situation in Syria has further worsened in recent weeks as fighting has spread in Damascus and to Aleppo and other cities,” according to an e-mailed statement from the UN office in Geneva.

“Two million people are now estimated to have been affected by the crisis and over 1 million have been internally displaced. More than 140,000 people have fled the violence and crossed into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq," according to the UN.