Second aid batch enters besieged Syrian communities

BEIRUT -- Trucks carrying humanitarian aid for the second time this week on Thursday entered three besieged communities in Syria as part of an effort to alleviate civilian suffering in cut-off areas following reports of starvation, grave deprivation and illness there, aid groups said.

See Full Article

A convoy of 44 trucks from the UN World Food Program, International Committee for the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent had headed in the morning to the rebel-held town of Madaya from the Syrian capital, Damascus. A similar aid convoy of 17 trucks drove to the villages of Foua and Kfarya, in the northern province of Idlib, which have been besieged by the Syrian rebels.

In the evening, six trucks entered Madaya, while three trucks entered Foua and Kfarya simultaneously, according to the UN-supported agreement.

Madaya, a former mountain resort near the Lebanon border, has been under siege for months by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. The trucks carry wheat, flour, cleaning materials and some medical supplies.

The Madaya convoy also included a nutritionist and health teams to assess the humanitarian situation, said Tarek Wheibi, spokesperson for the ICRC in Beirut.

Among aid organizations who were entering Madaya are Care International and SOS Children's Village, an international organization dedicated to the care of orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children.

"We have no clear picture of the number of children that are unaccompanied in Madaya; however, we know that the situation there is dire," said Ahmed Hussein, leader of the emergency response program for the organization.

Abeer Pamuk, communications advisor for the group who travelled to Madaya Thursday, said immediately on arrival in Madaya, they saw "an overwhelming amount of people, all were extremely skinny and very pale."

Reports of starvation have drawn international attention to Madaya, where an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 people are thought to be trapped without food, electricity, and other basic supplies.

Officials who travelled to the town with the first aid convoy on Monday reported "heartbreaking" and nightmarish scenes they said were the worst they had seen in Syria.

The UN said Monday about 400 people required immediate medical evacuation for starvation and other conditions. As of Thursday, there were no reports of any evacuations.

In a statement UNICEF and WHO said Thursday that their teams met distressed and hungry children - some of them severely malnourished, along with adults in a similar condition during their visit Monday.

"The town's population of 40,000 is being served by only two doctors, with a limited capacity to save the lives of civilians. Health and medical services including immunization are collapsing," the statement said.

About 300 civilians, mostly women and children, left Madaya on foot on Monday and were transferred to government-run temporary shelters.

A similar humanitarian crisis was reported in Foua and Kfraya. The UN says around 15 municipalities are under siege in Syria, in contravention of international law.

The UN says 4.5 million Syrians are living in besieged or hard-to-reach areas and desperately need humanitarian aid, with civilians prevented from leaving and aid workers blocked from bringing in food, medicine, fuel and other supplies.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has called on all parties to end the sieges on Madaya, Foua, and Kfarya.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Second World War bomber touches down on Canadian soil

    Canada News CTV News
    It was a landing most people have only seen in old war movies. A massive B-29 bomber, nicknamed Fifi, touched down on Canadian soil this week as part of a mission to keep history alive. Source
  • Tesla shares fall after Musk's spat with British diver

    World News CBC News
    Shares of Tesla Inc fell 2.75 per cent on Monday after CEO Elon Musk directed abuse on Twitter at one of the British cave divers involved in the rescue of 12 Thai children last week. A number of analysts and investors, requesting anonymity, told Reuters that Musk's comments are adding to their concerns that his public statements are distracting him from Tesla's main business of producing electric cars. Source
  • No prison time for day care owner who put toddler in noose

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minneapolis day care owner was sentenced Monday to 10 years of probation for trying to kill a toddler in her home by hanging him from a noose. Nataliia Karia, 43, received her punishment in Hennepin County court after pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree assault earlier. Source
  • Alberta town divided over program to kill feral rabbits at $300 a pop

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta town remains divided over a controversial program to kill feral rabbits at a cost of nearly $300 per bunny. Ten years ago, the Town of Canmore had an estimated 2,000 feral rabbits. Source
  • Alberta town divided over program to kill feral rabbits at cost of $300 per bunny

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta town remains divided over a controversial program to kill feral rabbits at a cost of nearly $300 per bunny. Ten years ago, the Town of Canmore had an estimated 2,000 feral rabbits. Source
  • Families bury the dead after bloody weekend in Nicaragua

    World News CTV News
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Families began burying the dead Monday following a bloody weekend in Nicaragua as police and paramilitary groups attacked roadblocks set up by anti-government demonstrators demanding President Daniel Ortega's exit from office. The family and friends of 20-year-old university student Gerald Vasquez, one of two students killed Saturday when pro-government groups attacked the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, carried his casket to a Managua cemetery, chanting "They…
  • Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent molten rock crashing through the roof of a sightseeing boat off Hawaii's Big Island, injuring 23 people Monday, officials said. A woman in her 20s was in serious condition with a broken thigh bone, the Hawaii County Fire Department said. Source
  • Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking the government to court over six arrests made last month. The people were taken into custody June 18 when Regina police enforced an eviction order. Source
  • Mother of girls shot at playground calls for community programs to stop gun crime

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The mother of two young girls who were hit by stray bullets at a Toronto playground last month called Monday for better education and community support programs, not increased police presence, to curb gun violence in the city. Source
  • Ontario's chief coroner testifies at Elizabeth Wettlaufer inquiry

    Canada News CTV News
    Unusual patterns of deaths in long-term care homes are not always tracked or analyzed because some death reports are not filed electronically, as rules require, the province's chief coroner said Monday. Dr. Dirk Huyer's assessment came at the public inquiry examining the circumstances that allowed 51-year-old Elizabeth Wettlaufer to kill eight elderly patients living at long-term care homes in southwestern Ontario. Source