Besieged Syrian town which has 40,000 people starving to death gets UN aid convoy

Syrian aid convoyAFP

An aid convoy has reached the Syrian town of Madaya

People in the rebel-held town of Madaya have not received any aid since October, and the UN say it has received credible reports of people dying from starvation in the town.

The convoy has got enough food to last 40,000 people for a month.

Before the relief came, the World Food Programme reported that starving families had been forced to eat leaves, grass and water flavoured with spices and even their pets in a bid to survive.

An aid worker said: “Humanity has fallen with the fall of the first man from hunger in Madaya."

People in MadayaAFP•GETTY IMAGES

People have been starving in Madaya, reports say

The death toll is striking mostly the elderly, the women and children.

Mohamed Youseff

Dr Mohamed Youssef, the manager of the medical council in Madaya, said two or three people people were dying of starvation every day in addition to about 50 fainting or falling severely ill as widespread starvation takes hold of the town.

He said: "People are surviving by consuming water with sugar, salt or spices if they can find any.

"The death toll is striking mostly the elderly, the women and children."

Aid trucks have also gone into the villages of Foah and Kefraya which are under siege by forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The lorries are carrying food including vegetable oil, rice, sugar, flour and salt as well as water, blankets, medicines and surgical supplies and baby food.


The aid convoy has enough to feed the people of Madaya for a month

Madaya is 15 miles to the north west of Syria’s capital, Damascus, and it has been under siege since the start of July by forces loyal to President Assad.

Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) operations director Brice de la Vigne has said the situation in Madaya is ‘quite horrific’ and there are more than 250 people with acute malnutrition – 10 of whom needed immediate medical attention.

A child eating fruitAFP•GETTY IMAGES

A child of Madaya eats fruit

MSF believes that 28 people, including six children under a year old, had died of starvation in the town since the start of December.

The Syrian civil war has been ongoing between forces loyal to President Assad and rebels opposing him.

The presence of Islamic State (ISIS) in the country has also proved a problem, with the jihadists control an area around the city of Raqqa.

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