UN call for urgent evacuation of 400 patients in Syria


United Nations — The United Nations has called for the evacuation of more than 400 people in eastern Ghouta, Damascus. They stressed that if immediate action is not taken, 29 individuals, 18 of which are children, will die.

The UN Human Right’s statement continued saying that under international law, the Syrian regime is responsible for the treatment of patients and wounded individuals in eastern Ghouta. They are also responsible for the safe delivery of essential medical and nutritional supplies.

Speaking to reporters, Jan Egeland, special adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria said: “Around 400 men, women, children... need to be evacuated now."

“We cannot continue like that. If we only get a fraction of what is needed it will be a complete catastrophe,” he added.

Last month devastating photographs emerged of malnourished children some forced to ‘eat from trash bins’ in Syria.

They are living in eastern Damascus, which is still held by rebels and where government forces are refusing to let any food in.

Hala Al-Nufi, aged two and a half, weighs less than a stone.

“We don’t have fully healthy children. The main reason is the lack of food and nutrition,” said Dr Amani Ballour, a paediatrician said.

Six-month-old twins Safa and Marwa are also malnourished.

Their mother Um Said, who has four other children, says she is too hungry to produce any milk to breast feed them.

“Sometimes I hit myself against the wall,” she said. “

“We are going to die of hunger. We are eating from the trash bins.”

The UN says at least 1,200 children in eastern Ghouta (a suburb of Damascus) suffer from malnutrition, with 1,500 others at risk.

People are on the verge of famine, residents and aid workers say, bringing desperation to the only major rebel enclave near the Syrian capital.

Cases of malnutrition among children have almost doubled in the last two months at one clinic in the suburbs.

They have been under siege by Syrian government forces since 2013 but come under new pressure this year as tunnels used to smuggle in food have been cut off. — Agencies