Aid reaches Syr­i­ans in be­sieged re­gion

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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