How Severe Is the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria?

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Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Tara Maller, a research fellow at the New America Foundation, discusses U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's Middle East diplomacy efforts. She speaks with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg)

Secretary's agenda?

He will be making three stops in paris, london, and rome and a wide range of issues ranging from serious diplomacy, iran nuclear weapons, and israeli- palestinian negotiator in -- negotiation so he has his hands full this week.

What is he trying to do with syria?

He's trying to garner support furniture national peace conference by the end of next month.

The head of the arab league says they are aiming for november 23 but he really needs to get the opposition groups on board and he needs to get a multitude of them on board and he needs to show them that there are prospects to potentially reach a negotiated solution preferably with assad not in power but he says he wants to attend the conference.

We will see what happens and we have questions about whether or not the iranians will be at the table for this on france.

Iranian support is key in helping to resolve syria at the issue here is trying to reach a political negotiated settlement that would have a peaceful and enduring effect on syria.

To be quite honest, these are quite difficult especially in this case.

I would imagine an invitation for president assad would not be forthcoming.

It does not look like it right now.

This is not just a u.s. game.

This will be russia on board with other countries as well.

We have had leaders attend conferences we don't agree with back in dayton, ohio, back in the clinton administration so i don't want to rule it out what it does seem that's the route they are pushing for at this point.

There's an ongoing humanitarian crisis in syria and it's not being talked about a lot.

Talk to us about the scale.

As kerry goes forward, one of the issues that is really not getting covered that much is the humanitarian crisis.

You have over 6 million displaced persons.

Within the country itself, four million, 2 million out of the country.

In geos like the national rescue committee and other groups are working on this -- and youngo's and others are working on this.

It's getting pushed aside.

The administration is going to step up and probably try to get some action, whether that be pushing for the international community to do something if we are not taking military action and just helping neighboring countries where could have a destabilizing force on the region as well.

How severe is this compared to other humanitarian crises?

The u.n. said the pace of the problem in this conflict is like nothing they have seen since rwanda which puts it in the broad scope in terms of -- i don't want to rank international crises but it's high up there in terms of the scale and the pace at which people are moving out.

You have people who left iraq under the war who fled to see.

Now leaving syria to iraq with nowhere to go.

That gives you a sense of displaced persons in syria going back to iraq and that is one example.

When this happens to a comp -- a country and wreck the economy.

Is there a time frame?

It sounds like they will need something like a marshall plan just to rebuild the infrastructure.

This is going to be a long, long process, the humanitarian aspect, the political aspect come and the chemical aspect.

You have a triad of issues.

It is not just the political elements.

You have all three of these creating what is going to be years and years of negotiating and political work both with the international community, the united states, ngo's. led -- alleviating the suffering of those who have been displaced, that something where they can get on the same page?

Because there have been so many political views, it hasn't been undermining the lyrical effort.

Where are the rebel groups?

Which groups are tied to al qaeda?

Just making sure it does not end up in the wrong hands.

It makes it a much messier situation than from a natural disaster or something where there is not as many political elements at play.

John kerry is going to have to work to push in terms of a political settlement and in terms of the chemical weapons assessment.

Before you go, is u.s. prestige on the line?

It always is.

Credibility, the ability to act as an honest broker.

This is something that has real international repercussions.

John kerry has been doing a good job.

His progress in syria affect his progress with iran.

His progress in iran affects his progress in syria.

Tara maller from the new

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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