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Reaction to food and medical aid being delivered to seven besieged locations in Syria
17th February 2016
Anna Nolan, director of The Syria Campaign said:
“Staffan de Mistura is riding one of these aid trucks into the besieged areas, like some grotesque victory parade. The reality is the UN is deeply complicit in the Syrian regime’s tactic of besieging civilians. It has stayed largely silent for years while Bashar al Assad starved his own citizens. The little aid that goes in today is a result of public pressure, not because of UN action.”
This is what people inside some of the 52 besieged areas have been telling The Syria Campaign:
Ibrahim from Daraya:
We are not on the list of towns to get an aid delivery today. For three years we have been living under siege without any assistance from the UN. Soon we will be starving. There are 12,000 people here. We condemn the UN and the humanitarian organisations.
All the fighters inside Daraya are not Isis or Nusra or extremists.They are defending their families from the Assad government.
Mohammad from Syrian Civil Defence, Mleiha, Eastern Ghouta:
De Mistura promised the Syrian people that the UN would deliver aid today but so far we have received nothing.
When we do get aid we get like a thousand baskets. Then we have to divide them in half, so one family would never get a whole basket. Food will then last 3 days rather than a week.
Huda from Eastern Ghouta:
The last medical aid delivery that came through was so little it almost counted for nothing. We are 350,000 people in Eastern Ghouta.
Practically we need a lot of baby milk. We also need vaccinations. We need more cheese and canned foods like fava beans
Ali from Deir Ezzor:
The food baskets we’ve received are a drop in the ocean. The Russian air force are dropping aid into areas sympathetic to the regime. This was about 2,850 baskets and there are 30,000 families. It is better to deliver by trucks and not air because the aid just falls into regime hands.
We need tuna, or anything canned, because it lasts longer.
Jalal from Justice for Life in Deir Ezzor:
We don’t know if the aid will ever reach us. We are being told that next week Syrian Arab Red Crescent will distribute the aid they received last week. And it is always too little. None of it is enough for 30,000 families.
The baskets only lasts a family 4 days or a week at most. We need food aid that can be stored, cans like tuna or beans. We don’t have gas to cook the rice or bulgur wheat they send us.
Moayad from Yarmouk:
When we got aid from NGOs or the UN, the regime would steal the food baskets. Now we’re getting things from UNRWA which is more controlled. But when Yarmouk was declassified as a siege area, no aid was delivered for months.