400,000 struggling to survive as besieged Syrian enclave faces ‘complete catastrophe’

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 11 November 2017| 21 Safar 1439

The 400,000 civilians besieged in the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta face “complete catastrophe” because aid deliveries are blocked and hundreds of people need urgent medical evacuation, UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said on Thursday.

Seven people had already died because they were not evacuated, and 29 more were at imminent risk, including 18 children, he told reporters in Geneva after a regular meeting of the UN humanitarian task force on Syria.

“A very bleak report was delivered from us on the UN side. I feel as if we are now returning to some of the bleakest days of this conflict again,” Egeland said.

“The fears are that we are now returning with civilians in crossfire in too many provinces at the same time.”

“Nowhere is it as bad as in Eastern Ghouta,” he said, adding that the area east of Damascus had been “completely sealed off” since September, and UN aid convoys, which would be the only lifeline, have not been given permission to enter the enclave.

“We cannot continue like that. If we only get a fraction of what is needed it will be a complete catastrophe.”

There were a growing number of acutely malnourished children, which meant they were very close to dying, he said.

Source – TRT World