GENEVA - An estimated 4 million people in Syria will need humanitarian aid by early next year, up from the current 2.5 million whose needs the world is already failing to meet fully, a senior UN official said on Friday.

John Ging, director of operations at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), painted a bleak outlook for civilians caught up in intensifying civil war between Syrian government forces and rebels.

"If the current rate of conflict continues at the current pace we can reasonably project that numbers in need to rise from 2.5 million to 4 million by the early new year," Ging told a news briefing after chairing the Syrian Humanitarian Forum.

"Every day our humanitarian colleagues on the ground are engaging with people who are ever more desperate, ever more fearful for their lives and for the lives of their families because of this conflict," he said.

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