Aid reaches Syrians in besieged region
BEIRUT — The United Nations reached thousands of Syrians with emergency food relief for the first time in over a month on Monday, amid warnings that conditions outside the Syrian capital have deteriorated to desperate levels under a government blockade.
The U.N.’s humanitarian agency, the World Food Program, and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent announced that they were able to reach the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus with enough food for 40,000 people.
The supplies cover only a fraction of the estimated 350,000 people in need in the eastern Ghouta region, according to U.N. figures. It is one of the last remaining pockets of opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad and depends on relief and smuggling to survive an enduring government siege.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent, which operates across conflict lines, announced it had completed its measles vaccination campaign in Eastern Ghouta. It said it had vaccinated 48,000 children over two drives, in May and October.
At least 11 people were killed by government shelling on Sunday, including on a kindergarten in the town of Kafr Batna.