Syria: Humanitarian aid reaches 35,000 people in Yalda, Babila and Beit Sahem

26 October, 2017
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This girl is one of the civilians who received much needed aid today. Many children like her are at risk of disease, hunger, even death if humanitarian aid does not reach them on time. Credit: OCHA/G. Seifu

Today, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent was able to deliver humanitarian assistance provided by the UN to the hard-to-reach towns of Yalda, Babila and Beit Sahem in Rural Damascus. The delivery consisted of food, nutrition, medical supplies, hygiene kits and other emergency items for 35,000 people in need.

Across Syria, 3.5 million people live in besieged or hard-to-reach areas. Many of them are children. Desperately needed humanitarian assistance isn’t reaching them and families, putting them at risk of disease, hunger, even death.

The UN and partners continue to advocate for these people and call for unconditional, unimpeded, safe and sustained access to those who need live-saving assistance as the crisis in Syria continues. The call for access includes the facilitation of medical evacuations in line with International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law.

"The desired improvement on humanitarian access continues to elude us, and this is due to many factors: the ongoing fighting in some areas, bureaucratic impediments or interference by parties to the conflict,” said Staffan De Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, in his briefing to the Security Council today. “Those with influence must work to enable the UN and its partners to deliver assistance by whatever modalities are available: cross-line, cross-border and regular programmes.”

Another inter-agency convoy is also being organized to bring critical humanitarian supplies to civilians trapped in East Ghouta amid ongoing assessments of the area to plan upcoming response activities. East Ghouta, which continues to see a sharp spike in malnutrition cases, is also reported to have entered one of the most difficult periods in terms of access and availability of food since its besiegement in 2013.

The vast majority of people living in besieged areas across the country are in East Ghouta, where nearly 400,000 people are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Parts of this enclave have been besieged for four years. The last UN inter-agency convoy that reached Eastern Ghouta was on 23 September 2017, delivering assistance to 25,000 people in the besieged towns of East Harasta, Misraba and Modira.