GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Syrian refugee crisis is worsening “exponentially”, says Peter Maurer, the new head of the ICRC (International Red Cross), in Syria to meet with top authorities this week. A number of Geneva-based humanitarian aid organizations say they are seeing the impact of a rapidly worsening situation on the civilian population and refugees fleeing the country.
The UN refugee organization, the UNHCR, says the number of refugees leaving Syria in August alone was more than 103,000, the highest number in a single month and nearly half the total number of registered refugees in neighbouring countries (many refugees remain unregistered).
Maurer’s talks “will mainly tackle the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation and the difficulties faced by the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent as they attempt to reach people affected by the armed conflict,” the organization notes in a 3 September press release. “The ICRC is also in regular contact with opposition groups both in Syria and abroad
Maurer says he intends “to follow up on points agreed last April, such as expanded access to persons detained in Syria and the imperative necessity of helping civilians affected by hostilities.”