AID CONVOYS ENTER BESIEGED SYRIAN TOWN
Aid convoys arranged by local and international organisations have reached a besieged town in Syria, where thousands are trapped and some have died of starvation.
The delivery is part of a deal between the government and rebels to let supplies into besieged areas.
Pawel Krzysiek, the spokesperson for the Red Cross in Syria, told Al Jazeera on Monday afternoon that the aid convoys have started to enter the rebel-held town of Madaya, located west of Damascus and near the Lebanese border. Another convoy has set off for Foua and Kefraya, two towns besieged by rebels in Idlib province.
Abou Ammar, a media activist in Madaya, told Al Jazeera over the phone that local aid organisations have been waiting since early morning for aid to arrive
“We have all been eagerly waiting since 5am. The situation here is getting worse and it is about time this operation goes through.
“We will work with the aid convoys arriving in Madaya and will help distributing aid to residents in town,” he said.
“At around 3pm on Monday, we can confirm that one person died due to starvation”.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have said that at least 28 people including six babiesunder one year of age, have died from hunger-related causes in Madaya.
There are at least 42,000 people trapped in Madaya, according to the UN.
MSF also said they have identified 250 people with severe acute malnutrition, including 10 patients who are in immediate need of lifesaving hospitalisation.
Five more people, a nine-year-old boy and four men older than 45, died on Sunday of suspected malnutrition, according to medics working with MSF.
At least 400,000 are said to be living under siege in 15 locations across Syria, according to the UN.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and the UN, including the World Food Programme, have organised humanitarian aid for residents trapped in the towns of Madaya, Foua and Kefraya.