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Food shortages, high prices in Yarmouk camp

Food shortages in the Islamic State-controlled Yarmouk camp continue to […]

29 June 2015

Food shortages in the Islamic State-controlled Yarmouk camp continue to beleaguer civilian residents, while images posted to social media by local news media on Sunday show foodstuffs for sale at the south Damascus camp.

“The prices are unbelievable and nobody can eat or drink, but praise God that we have seen the markets of the camp full again,” Yarmouk Camp News posted alongside the photos.

Nuts, juice, cheese, and a solitary watermelon are among the offerings pictured for sale in the camp just before the evening iftar meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast.

“Who are the people who can buy these things while all the people are out of work,” one facebook user Najeeb Abdullh commented on the images.

Still others questioned where the food and goods were coming from.

Food enters the camp, under IS control since April of this year, through the bordering towns to the south, including the checkpoints of Babila and Sidi Miqdad, rebel-held areas under truce with the government, South Damascus activist Daya Muhammad told Syria Direct on Monday.

“Some of the aid coming into the camp is the aid provided by UNRWA to the Palestinians who fled the camp to the towns of Yalda and Babila and Beit Sahim, and the beneficiaries of the food parcels bring them into the camp.”

Since IS entered the camp, clashes with FSA and other rebel groups at its edges have claimed a number of civilian lives, as regime barrel bombs continue to fall on it.  IS also holds the Hajar al-Aswad checkpoint near the camp.

Camp media sources characterized the past two days as an uncharacteristically calm for the camp, with no clashes or shelling reported, the al-Yarmouk Camp Press reported on Monday.

Walid al-Agha, an activist working in the South Damascus suburbs of Babila and Beit Sahim, confirmed the account, and added that although the towns outside of the camp are in a better state, food insecurity continues to plague the population. As a result, “the charitable kitchens are active, particularly in the month of Ramadan.”

In addition to limited access to food, water has been cut off by the regime to rebel-held areas in south Damascus for over nine months, driving residents to resort to potentially unsafe well water.

Photo courtesy of Yarmouk Camp News

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