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Syria: Armed Conflict

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL6130, tabled on 16 March 2017

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.

Answered on

24 March 2017

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.