UN says humanitarian situation in Syria is deteriorating and 10.8 million people need aid

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the humanitarian situation in Syria is worsening and the number of people needing urgent help has now reached 10.8 million — almost half of Syria's population of 22 million.

Ban's monthly report to the U.N. Security Council circulated late Friday said the current estimate of 3.5 million people living in areas that are difficult or impossible for humanitarian workers to reach is also likely to have increased to 4.7 million people.

"Efforts to expand humanitarian assistance to those most in need have been met with continued delays and obstruction," he said.

The U.N. chief also reported severe levels of violence including intensified use of barrel bombs by government forces against civilian areas, and suicide attacks, reported executions and other acts of terrorism by extremist groups.