BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:30 A.M.) – At least 45,000 people have been “internally displaced” due to ongoing fighting between militants and government forces in the southern Syrian province of Daraa, the United Nations said in Geneva on Tuesday.

Jens Laerke of the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that the fighting has affected an estimated 750,000 people in the area.

The majority of those displaced have reportedly fled from the eastern parts of Daraa towards the country’s southern border with Jordan.

The number of displaced people, however, “could more than double as the violence escalates,” Bettina Luescher from the World Food Programme (WFP) warned.

Full transcript:

Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): “There is an estimated total of 750,000 people in the areas that are now engulfed in fighting, so that is the overall number of people who we are particularly concerned about. We have reports of at least 45,000 people who have already been internally displaced, a range of between 45 (thousand), up to 50,000 people already.”

SOT, Bettina Luescher, Spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP): “The World Food Programme is really worried about the situation. We expect that the number of displaced people could more than double as the violence escalates.”

SOT, Tarik Jasarevic, Spokesperson for the World Health Organisation (WHO): “The WHO has prepared a 27.5 tonne shipment of medical supplies, sufficient to provide more than 135,000 treatments, including 2,100 trauma treatments to be sent to Daraa Governorate once the green light is received from the Syrian authorities. This is from our office in Damascus.”

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Video credit: Ruptly

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