UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Increased shelling and airstrikes in Idlib and surrounding areas have made the United Nations deeply alarmed over the safety and protection of more than 3 million civilians in the region, most of whom already are displaced, a UN spokesman said on Monday.
"The UN Human Rights Office verified that at least 49 civilians, including 14 women and 17 children, were killed in incidents between Feb. 1 and 5," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
In January, the same office said at least 186 civilians, including 33 women, 37 boys and 30 girls, were killed.
Since Dec. 1, about 689,000 civilians have been displaced due to the hostilities, around 80 percent of them women and children. This constitutes an increase of over 100,000 civilians in less than a week, Haq said.
Over the weekend, rain and snow and freezing temperatures across northwest Syria worsened the already harsh conditions for internally displaced people and host communities, he said. Among the worst affected are those sheltered in camps, informal settlements or unfinished buildings.
The spokesman said food, shelter, water and sanitation, hygiene, health, education and protection assistance are all urgent priorities.
The humanitarian community is planning to face the needs of up to 800,000 people in northwest Syria over six months, he said. The requirements cost up to 336 million U.S. dollars.