For Immediate Release

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URGENT: Red Cross, UN enter Daraya – town on verge of starvation – with no food

Residents furious at absence of food in convoy

12 May, 2016

A joint convoy of UN, Syrian Arab Red Crescent, and Red Cross trucks are at the entrance of the besieged town of Daraya preparing to deliver humanitarian aid today. The Red Cross from the town’s entrance has confirmed that there will be no food included within the convoy. The trucks contain medicines, vaccines, baby milk and school supplies.

The town and its population of 8,000 are on the verge of starvation. For over a month, many residents have been subsisting on soups made of spices or going several days without food.

Ahmad Mujahid, a resident from Daraya, said:

“This is unacceptable. People in the town need food. Children can’t stand in school, they’re getting dizzy from malnutrition and the convoys are bringing in school supplies. People in the town are so angry. The humanitarian situation is terrible. We need food urgently.”

Bissan Fakih, spokesperson for The Syria Campaign, said:

“This aid convoy spells out the failure of the international community. After more than three years of nothing to Daraya, Bashar al-Assad still gets to veto what the United Nations deliver. No bread, no rice, no beans, no protein for Daraya’s starving children.

This is the biggest UN aid operation in history. The US, UK and other donor governments should be embarrassed at how the most vulnerable are going hungry and they are doing so little about it.

Residents have gathered to protest against the convoy going in without food. A school teacher in Daraya is interviewed in English here:

This is the first time the UN, the Red Cross and the Red Crescent have been able to deliver aid since the siege of Daraya began in November 2012. The UN conducted a needs assessment trip on the 16th of April last month.




– Until February there was a smuggling route in Daraya to the adjacent neighbourhood of Moadamiyah but this was cut off in February leading to a rapid deterioration in conditions.

– Daraya was the site of some of the earliest protests against the Syrian government and remains of symbolic importance for the opposition movement. Daraya is run by a democratically elected council which controls the activities of the Free Syrian Army. Local residents think this, along with the town’s proximity to the capital and Mazzeh Military Airport, is the reason why Daraya is not being granted reprieve.

– 1.1 million people live under siege in Syria according to Siege Watch, with 47 out of 50 areas are besieged by the Syrian government.

– The Syria Campaign was established in 2014 as an independent advocacy group to focus on the protection of civilians in Syria. To maintain its impartiality, The Syria Campaign accepts no funding from governments or any group involved in the conflict