Humanitarian community calls for access to all areas in need in Syria

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UNRWA@PHOTO

The international humanitarian community is calling on the participants in peace talks on Syria next week to lift the restrictions on Yarmouk refugee camp and all areas of humanitarian need in Syria.

Around 50 agencies have issued a statement expressing their concern about the plight of the people in the refugee camp which was home to about 160,000 Palestinians before the civil war erupted in Syria.

They say much of the camp has been destroyed by the conflict and today about 18,000 people, including many women and children, remain trapped inside without food.

Yarmouk is located just south of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

There are reports of malnutrition and of people eating animal feed.

There are no medical services, and water and electricity are almost non-existent.

Elisabeth Byrs is spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Geneva.

"WFP is very concerned about people who live in these areas under siege and we know that their nutrition situation is expected to have deteriorated. We tried several times over the last few months to reach those besieged areas in and around Damascus, Nashabiyeh, Douma, Harasta and Yarmouk, of course, without success." (24")

Earlier this week, a convoy of relief supplies destined for Yarmouk refugee camp was forced to turn back after being diverted into an area of armed conflict.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) says the Syrian authorities forced the convoy to drive some 20 kilometres through an area of intense armed conflict.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’53″

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