Aid arrives outside besieged Syrian town

2016-01-11 16:09

Beirut - A convoy of trucks carrying food and medical aid arrived on Monday at a government checkpoint outside the besieged Syrian town of Madaya, where Doctors without Borders (MSF) says almost 30 people have died of starvation.

About 40 trucks were waiting early on Monday afternoon to enter the town, Pawel Krzysiek of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

The aid convoy would not cross into Madaya until a parallel convoy was able to enter two government-held Shi'ite villages besieged by Islamist rebels in north-western Syria, Krzysiek said.

A source in the Syrian Red Crescent said about 330 tons of food and medical aid were being sent to Madaya, enough to last for about 40 days.

Located about 25km northwest of the capital, the town has been under siege since July by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, aided by the allied Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah movement.

Over 20 000 people are currently trapped inside Madaya, according to MSF, which said overnight that five more people had died there due to starvation.

The group last week said 23 people had died of starvation in the town's hospital, which it supports, since the beginning of December.

The Shi'ite villages of Foua and Kafraya, in northwestern Idlib province, have been besieged by rebels since April.

At least one person has died there due to lack of food and medical supplies, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Mazen Burhan, a member of the Madaya Humanitarian Committee, said the trucks were expected to enter the town later in the afternoon as they have to pass through a number of checkpoints.

"They will need to pass at least 20 checkpoints," Burhan said.

Representative from the ICRC and the Syrian Red Crescent entered the town shortly after noon ahead of the arrival of the aid convoy, he added.

MSF said that they have asked for food supplies, therapeutic food for treating malnutrition, and a basic package of essential medicines and medical supplies to enable the makeshift hospital in Madaya to keep running.

The group warned that regular supplies to Madaya are essential and a one-time delivery of aid will not be enough.

Read more on:    icrc  |  msf  |  syria

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.