DAMASCUS, 15th December, 2015 (WAM) — The situation in Syria is “unacceptable,” with nearly 13.5 million Syrians in need of some form of assistance, a top United Nations relief official has said, urging the international community to generously support the UN’s $3.2 billion humanitarian operations plan for the war-torn country.

“I came to Syria to find ways to improve the ongoing response efforts and to ensure that those in need across the country will receive the assistance they so desperately require,” said the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien, at the end of his second visit to Syria.

He told reporters that the UN and its partners have finalised the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016, which requires $3.2 billion for 13.5 million Syrians, including nearly 6.5 million who are internally displaced, about 72 percent of the population, that is without access to drinking water, and an estimated two million children who are out of school.

“This situation is unacceptable, a blot on our collective conscience,” underscored O’Brien, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

He said that there is a desperate need for additional funds in order to continue humanitarian efforts and he expressed hope that the international community will pledge generously at the London Syria Conference on 4th February, 2016.