Mobile clinic on way to besieged Syrian town of Madaya

UN agencies say mobile clinic is heading towards Madaya where at least 32 people have died of hunger in last month

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Residents who said they have received permission from Bashar al Assad’s regime to leave the besieged town wait with their belongings after an aid convoy entered Madaya, Syria, January 14, 2016

United Nation (UN) agencies on Friday said a mobile clinic and medical team is on its way to the besieged Syrian town of Madaya, where the local community has reported that 32 people have died of starvation in the last 30 days.

After several months of blockade, Bashar al Assad’s regime allowed for the mobile clinic of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to enter the town and has also agreed for vaccination to be carried out, Tarik Jasarevic of the World Health Organisation (WHO) told a news briefing.

Spokeswoman for the UN World Food Programme, Bettina Luescher, said local community's relief committee notified officials that 32 people had died of hunger in the last 30 days.

Meanwhile, UN children's fund UNICEF confirmed cases of severe malnutrition among children in Madaya.

The confirmation came after the United Nations and Red Cross entered the town on Monday and Thursday to deliver aid for the first time since October.

Aid deliveries to Madaya came as part of an agreement between warring sides that included the simultaneous delivery of aid to thousands of people in two villages in the northwest of the country which are encircled by rebel fighters.

The UN hopes to send convoys to Madaya and the rebel-besieged towns of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib next week, but no date has been set for Zabadani, said OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke.

According to the UN there are about 450,000 people trapped in around 15 siege locations across Syria, including in areas controlled by the Assad regime, DAESH and other rebel groups.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has slammed Syria’s warring parties saying that the use of starvation as a weapon of war is a war crime. 

TRTWorld and agencies