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UN Says Damascus Blocking Food Aid To 1 Million Syrians In Need

Syrian refugees carry aid and rations at the Zaatari refugee camp in the city of Mafraq, Jordan. (file photo)
The United Nations says 1 million Syrians are in desperate need of food aid, most of them in conflict zones, due to the Syrian government's restrictions on aid distribution.

World Food Program (WFP) spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs says her UN agency is handing out rations to about 1.5 million people in Syria each month.

There are an estimated 2.5 million people in need. The WFP said it is unable to increase assistance because only a handful of humanitarian agencies are authorized to distribute relief aid in Syria.

The UN estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed during 21 months of conflict in Syria.

It also says that the number of registered Syrian refugees has leapt from 500,000 to nearly 600,000 in the past month.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and the BBC