The UN estimates there are now more than 6 million internally displaced people in Syria.
The UN estimates there are now more than 6 million internally displaced people in Syria.

This is the highest amount of people displaced in a four month period since fighting began. The UN regional coordinator for Syria said the worst may be yet to come.

The United Nations (UN) said Monday that more than 920,000 people were displaced inside of Syria between January and April this year. That is the highest level of newly displaced people since the conflict began seven years ago, according to Panos Moumtzis, UN regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria.

That means there are now 6.2 million internally displaced people. Around 5.6 million Syrians have fled to other countries, according to the UN. Moumtzis said many of the newly displaced were forced out by fighting in the formerly rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region and in the Idlib province, which is almost completely controlled by jihadist and hardline rebels.

Concerns about Idlib, funding

Moumtzis' comments come days after airstrikes in the Idlib provine left several dead. The spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Guterres has called for an investigation into the attacks. 

Mounmtzis told AFP news agency that the UN is on "high alert" on the Idlib province. 

"Our wory is that with the Idlib situation, we may not have seen the worst of the crisis in Syria," said Moumtzis.

The violence in that region, as well as Eastern Ghouta, has made it difficult for foreign aid to make it to residents. Just nine aid convoys successfully made it to what the UN considers besieged areas since January. Moumtzis said the UN has the ability to send at least three convoys per week. He said that means the UN was only able to make 11 percent of its possible deliveries so far this year, the lowest ever since the start of the conflict.

Moumtzis was concerned over the lack of funding for the aid operation, as just 26 percent of the $3.5 billion needed in Syria this year has materialized.

"The humanitarian response on the ground is really at a breaking point. We are stretched to a maximum," Moumtzis told AFP.

 

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