Children wear face masks to prevent COVID-19 pandemic at a refugee camp in Idlib Province in Syria. — AFP/VNA Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has called for special attention to responding to the COVID-19 epidemic which is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Syria, at a regular monthly meeting of the UN Security Council.

Addressing the May 19 video meeting on the humanitarian situation in Syria, Deputy Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN – Ambassador Phạm Hải Anh said humanitarian access must be maintained in all areas in Syria, and a favourable security environment be ensured for humanitarian activities.

He appealed to the international community to support Syria in this difficult time, including ensuring the supply of food and medical supplies necessary for COVID-19 prevention and control.   

In his report, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said the economic and humanitarian crisis in Syria is facing a great challenge by the risk of COVID-19 outbreak. Though the country has so far reported only 64 cases, the local disease prevention capacity is poor. Besides the impact from social distancing measures, the Syrian people are also facing rising inflation, with the prices of essential goods having doubled from one year ago.

Lowcock called on the international community to increase support to Syria in all possible forms.

The humanitarian crisis in Syria is the consequence of prolonged instability and conflicts during the past decade. It is estimated that more than 11 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance. — VNS