Threat of starvation lingers in Yarmouk camp


July 2, 2014

yarmouk

YARMOUK SOS: As the Muslim world moves into the fourth day of fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, the residents of the Yarmouk camp have to worry about a more deadly lack of food: Starvation.

This photograph, published on social media Wednesday and hashtagged with the line “Save Yarmouk Camp,” shows two women in the sprawling mini-city south of Damascus drinking soup from buckets against the wall in the hot summer sun.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has not been able to send aid to Yarmouk Camp for a month, reported Jordanian news agency Asabeel, despite a truce signed two weeks ago between combatant factions in the camp and the Syrian regime.

 The truce was supposed to have cleared the camp of combatants and allowed the entry of aid into the camp.

“Another day with no UNRWA aid to Yarmouk,” said Chris Gunness, the spokesperson for UNRWA over Twitter on Monday.

“The last time UNRWA handled the distribution of aid in Yarmouk was a month ago,” Gunness announced in a statement published by the UN, noting “there are still 18,000 civilians trapped in the camp that suffer from harsh conditions.”

The Free Syria Army (FSA) controls most of the camp, but the regime still controls the main entrances to Yarmouk where aid needs to pass through.

Up until the truce was signed two weeks ago, a group of opposition fighters from the FSA, Liwa al-Asifa (predominately Palestinian), Jabhat a-Nusra, and the Islamic Front coordinated the fight against the regime.

Yarmouk was once home to 160,000 Syrian and Palestinian residents in 2011, but regime forces surrounded the camp in December 2012 when rebels took control of the area and tightened the siege in July 2013, preventing the entry of aid and people.

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