Food aid reaches besieged Yarmouk camp for second day
Published Friday 31/01/2014 (updated) 02/02/2014 11:29
Syrians attend the funeral of victims who reportedly died of
hunger, at the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in
southern Damascus, on January 27, 2014 (Dimashqi/AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Friday delivered food aid to refugees in Damascus' Syria camp for the second day in a row, a spokesperson told Ma'an.
"Against a background of profound civilian suffering, UNRWA staff carried out another full day of food aid distributions in Yarmouk, the Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, handing out 980 food parcels," Chris Gunness said.
"Since we were able to enter the camp on Jan. 18, we have distributed a total of 2,144 food parcels. This achievement needs to be put into perspective, given that one UNRWA food parcel will feed a family of between five and eight people for just 10 days."
If the support of the Syrian regime, PLO and and local charities is maintained the refugee agency would be able to immediately provide food for 18,000 camp residents, Gunness said.
"The large crowds of desperate people waiting to receive food parcels attest to the massive needs that have yet to be met. UNRWA has received assurances that Syrian authorities will continue to facilitate and support the delivery of assistance inside Yarmouk," he added.
Dozens of refugees in Yarmouk have died from hunger and a lack of medical care since a siege was imposed on the camp in June by Syria's army.
When war spread to areas of Damascus in the summer of 2012, thousands of people from other parts of the capital fled to Yarmouk, swelling its population further.
But Yarmouk soon became a war zone too, as Syrians taking up arms against President Bashar Assad's regime moved into the camp.
The 18,000 residents that remained have been forced to eat stray animals to survive amid crippling food shortages.