Five more civilians die of starvation in Syria’s Madaya

Five more people starve to death in besieged Syrian town of Madaya despite arrival of aid, says UN report

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Syrians are evacuated from the besieged rebel-held town of Madaya, on January 11, 2016.

Five people have starved to death in the last week in the Syrian town of Madaya, which has been under siege from Syrian regime forces since July 2015, a UN report announced on Sunday.

"Since 11 January, despite the assistance provided, five people reportedly died of severe and acute malnutrition in Madaya," the report said.

It is also stated in the report that a single biscuit in Madaya costs $15 and baby milk is priced at $313 per kilo, despite two emergency UN humanitarian aid convoys arriving in the besieged town.

Sajjad Malik, the UN refugee agency's chief in Damascus, also said a kilogram of rice could be sold in the city for $300. The sutyatuib is so extreme that one person bought 5 kilos of rice in exchange for a motorcycle.

Local relief workers stated that 32 civilians starved last month though last week two convoys of humanitarian support reached the 42,000 people living under the blockade of the city.

Dozens of people urgently require special medical care outside Madaya.

United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid workers have evacuated just 10 people so far, the UN report indicated.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned Syria’s warring parties for using starvation as a weapon, committing "atrocious acts" and "unconscionable abuses" against civilians, stating that the use of starvation as a weapon of war is a war crime.

The UN chief stated that some 400,000 civilians were besieged in 15 sieges across Syria - about half of whom are located in DAESH-controlled territory, nearly 180,000 in areas held by the Assad regime and about 12,000 in opposition-held areas.

Almost 50 civilians left Madaya on January 11, the report said.

On Monday, the first installment of humanitarian aid from the Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross reached Madaya, Foua and Kefraya in where thousands of civilians have been starving to death.

The second convoy left the Syrian capital Damascus and two rebel-held villages in the northwest, some 300 km (200 miles) from Madaya.

The Syrian conflict, which will enter its fifth year in early 2016, has left more than 260,000 people dead and made the country the world's greatest source of refugees and displaced persons, according to the UN.

Over eight million Syrıans are internally displaced and about 4.4 million have fled the country since the conflict started.

TRTWorld and agencies