Syria: Armed Conflict

Department for International Development written question – answered on 24th March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement by the Secretary of State for International Development on 15 March (HC Deb, col 444) stating that 1.5 million people are living under siege-like conditions in Syria, where those figures were obtained from, and how the 1.5 million figure is calculated.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

The UN estimates that 643,000 people live in areas that it classifies as ‘besieged’ and 879,000 in areas that it classifies as ‘militarily encircled.’ Under the UN definitions, restrictions placed on ‘besieged’ areas are more severe than those on ‘military encircled’ areas. However, the populations in all these locations are surrounded by armed forces which are restricting aid deliveries and the movement of people, including the sick and wounded. The Government therefore combines the two to reach the approximate and continually fluctuating figure of 1.5 million people living under siege-like conditions.

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