UN official: Syria war seems to be returning to its ‘blackest days’
Geneva Special Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria Jan Egeland warned that the fighting now in the war-riven country seems to be returning to some of the bleakest days of the conflict while there had been a period of de-escalation in many areas, reducing human suffering to some extent.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting of the Humanitarian Task Force in Geneva on Thursday, Egeland said the Syrian people have been through “a seven-year war � longer than the World War II.”
The situation is particularly concerning in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, where some 400,000 men, women and children are living in besieged towns and villages, and extremely high prices have put food and basic supplies beyond reach. There are fears that conditions could get much worse as winter closes in and temperatures could plummet to freezing.
With little, if any, reserves, no heat in their houses and living amid ruin, [for them] it will be a horrific winter, the UN official warned.
Since September, eastern Ghouta has been completely cut off and the sole lifeline for those still there are humanitarian convoys which, when successful in getting to the location, brings in food and medical supplies.
There are also growing numbers of acutely malnourished children, noted Egeland, calling on the parties to the conflict to allow medical evacuation urgently. An estimated 400 patients � about three quarters of whom are women and children � need to be evacuated.
The senior advisor said that seven patients were confirmed dead because they were not evacuated and a list of 29 critical cases, including 18 children, all have to be evacuated immediately. Evacuation is, however, not the solution, he stressed, calling for the fighting and shelling to stop.
Also in his remarks, Egeland informed that the situation is equally dire in Berm, a desolate area in Syria’s southeast, where as many as 55,000 civilians are in need of assistance but the last time relief was able to reach them was in June.
Source: International Islamic News Agency