Violence in northwestern Syria's Idlib dropped following the cease-fire announced by Turkey and Russia last week, but the area is still not safe, the U.N. said Friday.
Displacement from areas close to the frontlines has also slowed, said Jens Laerke, a spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
"But that does not make Idlib a safe place to be. The situation in the northwest remains the most alarming manifestation of the Syria crisis right now, as the conflict enters its 10th year," Laerke said at a press briefing.
He said shelling continues to be reported from areas along the frontlines. "The risk of death and injury from explosive hazards, such as unexploded ordnance, has increased over past months due to artillery and aerial bombardments," said the UNOCHA spokesman.
According to the U.N. body, some 960,000 people, most of them children and women, have been displaced since December.
"Aid workers are reporting incidents of exploitation and abuse of displaced women and girls by men in positions of power such as property owners, in exchange for cash or material assistance," Laerke said.
"We also have reports of women not being able to shower for several weeks due to lack of privacy and refusing to eat or drink, so they do not need to use a bathroom. They feel exposed and unsafe," Learke added.
As per UNOCHA estimates, some 327,000 people are currently staying in camps and individual tents, while 165,000 people are in unfinished houses or buildings.
Moreover, around 366,000 internally displaced people are living with host families or in rented homes, while some 93,000 people are staying in collective shelters, mostly converted from public buildings such as schools and mosques.
"However, there are still people sheltering under trees," said Laerke.
The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also issued a statement Friday and called for attention to the needs of Syrian people.
"As the crisis in Syria moves into its 10th year, the needs of the people who have endured so much are vast and complex," read the statement.
"The statistics are stark: more than 11 million Syrians rely on aid, tens of thousands of people remain missing, one out of two Syrians is displaced, and at least 2 million children have had their education disrupted or not had a chance even to start," it added.
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