Wednesday, September 25, 2013

 

Mass starvation feared in Syria: 'We have no food'

Mass starvation feared in Syria: Displaced Syrian women comfort their babies in Idlib, Syria, Sept. 22.BEIRUT — Syrian opposition groups and international relief organizations are warning of the risk of mass starvation across the country, especially in the besieged Damascus suburbs where a gas attack killed hundreds last month.



With the world's attention focused on the regime's chemical weapons, activists said six people — including an 18-month girl — have died for lack of food in one of the stricken suburbs in recent weeks.

Save the Children said in an appeal Monday that more than 4 million Syrians, more than half of them children, do not have enough to eat. Food shortages have been compounded by an explosion in prices.

Syria again seeking rice after failed tender

"The world has stood and watched as the children of Syria have been shot, shelled and traumatized by the horror of war," said Roger Hearn, Save the Children's regional director for the Middle East. "The conflict has already left thousands of children dead, and is now threatening their means of staying alive."

Thousands of people are believed trapped in suburbs east and west of the capital that have been held for months by rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad. Regime troops are besieging the areas, and residents say food is increasingly had to find. Rebels say they are trying to break the blockade.

The suburbs were the site of the Aug. 21 attack that a U.N. report found included the use of the nerve gas sarin. They were home to more than 2 million people before the war, but it is unclear how many are there now.
In some hard-hit areas such as the western suburb of Moadamiyeh, people are running out of food and are mostly relying on lentils, olives and dried figs, according to residents and activists.

"We have no food, no milk and no medicine," said a woman from Moadamiyeh, who identified herself by her nickname Um Lujain for fear of government reprisals. "We are surviving on one meal a day"

Um Lujain said her 18-month-old daughter has lost half her weight and spends most of her days sleeping. The woman said her daughter's diet is based on the liquid she makes by boiling lentils.

"There has been no children formula or bread for about a year," the woman said. She added that sometimes rebels find expired boxes of powdered milk in abandoned shops or pharmacies, and people still give it to their children for lack of food.

According to the Moadamiyeh Media Center, six people have died of starvation over the past 20 days: two women and four children ages 18 months to 7 years. It added that 15 other children are in intensive care in clinics, suffering from malnutrition.

Related: Fears of food and water poisoning after Damascus gassings

On Monday, the opposition Syrian National Coalition accused government forces of tightening their months-long siege. "Assad's forces are starving people to death in those areas," the coalition claimed. "Famine looms in the horizon."

Rana Obeid, the 18-month-old girl, was the latest to die Monday. An amateur video showed her lying on a bed, her ribs visible and her stomach bloated.

The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting on the events depicted.

Mahmoud Abu Ali, an activist in Moadamiyeh, said the suburb has been under siege for 307 days. He added that most of the cows, sheep and goats died as a result of shelling or lack of feed, and people cannot plant their land because of daily bombardment.

"People wake up in the morning and there is no food to have breakfast. At noon there is no food for people to have lunch," Abu Ali said.

Khaled Iriqsousi, head of Syrian Arab Red Crescent, told The Associated Press that the organization has not entered suburbs of Damascus for five months because of the fighting.

Iriqsousi said by telephone that one of the most serious problems is that children are not getting vaccinated. "This will affect generations," he warned.

Renewed push at UN for Syria resolution followed by peace talks

The United States and Russia brokered an agreement for Syria to give up its chemical weapons, but U.N. diplomats are at odds over details of a Security Council resolution spelling out how it should be done and the possible consequences if Syria doesn't comply.

In a speech at the U.N. Tuesday, President Barack Obama challenged the Security Council to hold Syria accountable if it fails to live up to its pledges.

"If we cannot agree even on this," Obama said, "then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws."

Ertharin Cousin, head of the U.N.'s World Food Program, demanded that a potential cease-fire for the benefit of the experts who will secure Syria's chemical weapons include access for aid workers.

WFP is feeding 3 million people inside Syria.

Mass starvation feared in Syria: Syrians gather at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Damascus Sept. 24.: Warfare in Damascus is keeping away food shipments and scrapping planting, putting Damascenes and suburbanites in danger of starving.
Warfare in Damascus is keeping away food shipments and scrapping planting, putting Damascenes and suburbanites in danger of starving.
Tags : , , , , , ,

Share

Social

The idea behind the text.
Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.



Follow

Popular Topics

Read

Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows.

Like you, I used to think the world was this great place where everybody lived by the same standards I did, then some kid with a nail showed me I was living in his world, a world where chaos rules not order, a world where righteousness is not rewarded. That's Cesar's world, and if you're not willing to play by his rules, then you're gonna have to pay the price.

You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don't know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide... and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I'm breaking now. We said we'd say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn't. Nature is lethal but it doesn't hold a candle to man.

You see? It's curious. Ted did figure it out - time travel. And when we get back, we gonna tell everyone. How it's possible, how it's done, what the dangers are. But then why fifty years in the future when the spacecraft encounters a black hole does the computer call it an 'unknown entry event'? Why don't they know? If they don't know, that means we never told anyone. And if we never told anyone it means we never made it back. Hence we die down here. Just as a matter of deductive logic.