GENEVA, 1st November, 2015 (WAM) — The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, has reported that living conditions inside war-torn Syria continue to deteriorate, leading to a dramatic rise in the number of people in need of protection and humanitarian assistance.

OCHA reports that some 13.5 million people inside Syria, nearly half of them children, are living on the margins of existence. This is an increase of 1.2 million people in just 10 months. It says the vast majority of these people are unable to get health care or enough food to stave off hunger.

The UN agency says 6.5 million of these people are internally displaced. It reports more than 4.2 million other Syrians are refugees, mainly in neighboring countries.

OCHA spokesman, Jens Laerke, said that aid agencies are unable to access many of these desperately needy people.

“There are 4.5 million people in hard to reach areas and we, the U.N., are able to reach only a small fraction of those people as a result of the active conflict, shifting frontlines, bureaucratic hurdles, and conditions imposed by the parties,” Laerke said.

Of those who are in hard-to-reach areas, Laerke said, almost 400,000 are living under siege.