6 truckloads of food, medicine expected to enter Syria's Yarmouk camp
Published Monday 13/01/2014 (updated) 14/01/2014 12:14
Palestinian children protest in solidarity with Yarmouk (MaanImages/File),
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A delegation representing the PLO shipped six truckloads of food and medicine into the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus on Monday, an official said.
Awni Abu Ghosh, a member of the politburo of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said in a statement that the shipment marked a "breakthrough" in the Yarmouk camp crisis.
The statement added that six trucks loaded with foods and medicines were headed to the Yarmouk camp under the auspices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
The trucks are expected to enter the camp on Monday afternoon to help ease the humanitarian crisis inside the camp.
The shipment comes a day after attempts to ship supplies in were thwarted due to fighting at the entrance of the camp.
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told Ma'an on Sunday, "There is profound civilian suffering in Yarmouk with widespread incidence of malnutrition and the absence of medical care, including for those who have severe conflict-related injuries, and including for women in childbirth, with fatal consequences for some women."
"The unending armed conflict brings death and inflicts serious injuries on Yarmouk residents in addition to the extreme deprivation of living a trapped existence," he added.
"I emphasize that the imperative remains that Syrian authorities and other parties must allow and facilitate safe and open humanitarian access into Yarmouk to enable us to assist civilians trapped there."
On Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that 41 Palestinians had died so far as a result of food and medicine shortages.
After rebels seized control of Yarmouk in December 2012, the camp became embroiled in the armed fighting taking place across Syria and came under heavy regime assault.
Regime forces eventually encircled the camp and in July imposed a siege on the camp, leading to a rapid deterioration of living conditions.
Fatah leader Abbas Zaki told Ma'an in October that Yarmouk's population of 250,000 had dwindled to 18,000 after two and a half years of conflict in Syria.
The Syrian conflict, which began as peaceful protests in March 2011 but developed into a civil war, has killed more than 130,000 people and prompted millions to flee their homes.
More than 760,000 Palestinians -- estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants -- were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel's creation in 1948.