UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday accused countries who send arms to Syria of spreading “misery” as he called for greater international efforts to end the war and ease a mounting humanitarian crisis. “Those who provide arms to either side are only contributing to further misery – and the risk of unintended consequences as the fighting intensifies and spreads,” Ban told the 193-member UN General Assembly. Ban did not name any country but Russia is President Bashar al-Assad’s main arms supplier while UN officials say Iran has made arms deliveries to his forces. The Syrian government accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming the opposition. The United States and Britain say they give non-lethal assistance to the opposition. The UN secretary general said there had to be greater international support behind the efforts of new UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to end the 18-month-old conflict, which activists say has left more than 26,000 dead. The United Nations says about 20,000 have died. Brahimi said in his first comments to the UN assembly since replacing Kofi Annan as special envoy on Saturday that the death toll in Syria was “staggering” and also called for united efforts on the conflict. Brahimi said he would go to Damascus “in a few days” but warned that the conflict is “deteriorating steadily”. “The death toll is staggering, the destruction is reaching catastrophic proportions and the suffering of the people is immense,” he said in a brief speech to the assembly. “The future of Syria will be built by its people and none other,” the 78-year-old diplomat added. “The support of the international community is indispensable and very urgent. It will only be effective if all pull in the same direction.” “Regional leaders have a key role to play in creating the conditions conducive to a solution,” Ban told the assembly. Though a number of initiatives have been started to end the conflict, Ban said “missing in all of them is a unity of effort that will have an impact on the ground”. The UN leader said that Brahimi’s task was “daunting but not insurmountable”. Annan quit his six-month bid to end the war complaining at the lack of international support to make Assad carry out his peace plan. Russia and China vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions which condemned Assad’s crackdown and threatened sanctions. Ban appealed for more money for a UN fund for Syria, saying: “The humanitarian situation is grave and deteriorating both in Syria and in neighbouring countries affected by the crisis.” He highlighted that the UN has called for US$180 million for action inside Syria but only received half this amount so far. Water, shelter, blankets, hygiene kits and medicines are desperately needed. “Governments have generously opened their borders and accepted their responsibility to shelter those who have sought refuge. They urgently need support,” Ban said. The UN refugee agency said earlier that more than 100,000 people fled Syria in August, a record since the start of the uprising against Assad in March last year. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that 235,000 people have registered in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. UN officials believe that a similar number may have left without seeking to register. The agency said some 1,000 Syrian refugees were crossing into Jordan and about 500 Syrian Kurds are arriving in Iraq each day. Hundreds of Iraqis who had sought refuge in Syria have also fled. Lebanon has taken in about 59,000 Syrians, while Turkey now has more than 80,400 Syrian refugees, with about 8,000 waiting at the border.