Geneva. According to a new estimate by the UN Human Rights Office, at least 306,887 civilians lost their lives in the civil war in Syria between the beginning of March 2011 and the end of March 2021. The number is higher than previous estimates, the office reported Tuesday to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which commissioned the calculation.
Statistically, the conflict has cost the lives of 83 uninvolved citizens every day for a period of ten years. The number corresponds to 1.5 percent of the population of Syria before the conflict began. At the same time, the already dramatic humanitarian situation in the civil war country is getting worse.
In September 2021, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, spoke of a total of more than 350,000 victims of the civil war in Syria. At the time, the figure included a good 143,000 civilians, around 138,000 fighters and around 70,000 deaths whose status had not yet been clarified.
Detailed information about deaths
The Bureau now has detailed information on 143,350 civilian deaths, with names, dates of death and location. In the other cases, missing information was estimated and supplemented using systematic statistical methods, said a spokeswoman.
“These conflict-related casualty figures are not just abstract numbers, they represent people. The killing of each of the 306,887 civilians is likely to have had profound, lasting consequences for the family and community to which they belonged,” said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Michelle Bachelet.
90 percent live below the poverty line
The number of victims is likely to continue to rise. According to the UN Emergency Relief Office Ocha, 14.6 million people in Syria are now waiting for humanitarian aid. The UN emergency aid coordinator for Syria, Imran Riza, said in Geneva that there were more than at any time since the beginning of the crisis. According to estimates, 90 percent of the population live below the poverty line. “Food insecurity has reached record levels,” he said. Riza blamed Syria’s economic decline, but also “climate shocks” with heat waves. The water situation is extremely worrying. Riza warned that the situation would continue to deteriorate.
The conflict in Syria began in spring 2011 with protests against the government of ruler Bashar al-Assad, which the government used violence against. The head of state’s supporters now control around two-thirds of the country again. However, a political solution to the conflict is not in sight.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220628-99-834723/2