Residents of the besieged town of Madaya continue to die of starvation despite the provision of aid by convoys, while regime forces and allied foreign militias block life-saving medical supplies from reaching the town, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said on Friday.
“It is totally unacceptable that people continue to die from starvation, and that critical medical cases remain in the town when they should have been evacuated weeks ago,” said Brice de le Vingne, MSF’s director of operations.
Sixteen people have died in Madaya since the first of three aid convoys arrived there earlier this month, according to local health workers supported by MSF. There are an estimated 320 cases of malnutrition in the town of 20,000 people, of which 33 are severe, meaning those people are in danger of dying if they do not receive prompt and effective treatment.
“There needs to be a permanent and independent medical presence in Madaya immediately, as we expect the medical situation to worsen as access to health care for people inside remains extremely limited,” de le Vingne said.
MSF-supported medics are now reporting cases of malnutrition in other towns in Syria, including in Moadamiyah, southwest of Damascus.
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Hisham Marwa said last week that “the Assad regime’s siege and bombardment of civilians violate UN Security Council resolutions. Assad has been committing these crimes under military and political cover by Russia. Meanwhile, the Assad regime continues to deceive the international community and procrastinate with regard to the political process.”
“Assad seeks to thwart any possible political solution through besieging civilians amid the international community’s failure to enforce UN Security Council resolutions which call for lifting the siege and the delivery of aid to the besieged areas. The only solution is through providing the Free Syrian Army with the advanced weapons it needs to break the blockades and save the lives of starving civilians,” Marwa said. (Source: Syrian Coalition)