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Hunger, blockade squeeze Yarmouk residents

SOUP LINE: A disabled resident of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee […]

2 March 2015


SOUP LINE: A disabled resident of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus carrying a bucket while waiting in line with others to receive food from a local soup kitchen in a photo taken Sunday widely circulating on facebook.

“Soup kitchens operated by charitable organizations have been able to distribute bits of food and drink to a small portion of the camp’s population,” Iman Ibrahim, an activist living in the camp, told Syria Direct.

“Small amounts of pepper, herbs, grains, grits and water have been distributed to residents,” he added.

Compounding the nutrition crisis, hepatitis has also spread to a number of areas in southern Damascus including the Yarmouk camp, , Ammar Aisa, a general physician working in a local hospital in southern Damascus told Syria Direct on Monday.

“Between 50 to 60 people per day are afflicted [with hepatitis] in southern Damascus. Children are the most vulnerable,” he said. “The total number has reached 1,500, 3 of whom have died until now.”

The picture was taken the same day Mohammed Jamil al-Asar, a 20-day-old infant living in the camp, died from starvation and a lack medical supplies due to the siege imposed on the camp by the regime and its allies, reported the pro-opposition Action Group for Palestinians of Syria on Sunday. His death brought the toll within the camp as a result of the blockade to 171, according to the group.

Mohammed’s death marked the 603rd that the camp, in reality a small city that once housed more than 100,000 Syrians and Palestinian refugees, has been encircled by regime forces as opposition factions fight each other for turf within.

It has been more than 80 days since the regime has allowed food aid to enter into the camp, the Action Group said on its website.  

-March 2, 2015

-Photo courtesy of Yarmouk Camp

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