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Syria war: Besieged Eastern Ghouta gets first aid for weeks


Syria war: Besieged Eastern Ghouta gets first aid for weeks

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Media captionChildren living less than 30km from the Syrian capital Damascus are malnourished

Aid convoys have reached starving civilians trapped in the Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held area outside Damascus, for the first time in weeks.

Supplies for 40,000 people were allowed into the towns of Kafra Batna and Saqba on Monday, according to the UN.

It comes days after the UN human rights chief said the plight of civilians trapped there was "an outrage" that might constitute a war crime.

Some 350,000 people have been besieged by pro-government forces since 2013.

Skip Twitter post by @OCHA_Syria

The @UN & @SYRedCrescent entered #KafraBatna & #Saqba in besieged #EastGhouta with humanitarian assistance for 40,000 people in need #Syria

— OCHA Syria (@OCHA_Syria) October 30, 2017


End of Twitter post by @OCHA_Syria

The convoy of 49 trucks was carrying "8,000 food parcels and a similar number of bags of flour, medicine, medical supplies, and other nutritional materials", Mona Kurdi, a Syrian Arab Red Crescent spokeswoman, told AFP news agency.

The last UN aid convoy, carrying aid for 25,000 people, reached the area on 23 September.

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  • Seeking 'normal life' under siege

Once a fertile agricultural belt, the Eastern Ghouta region is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis as government forces have recently tightened the siege.

Last week, the UN children's agency Unicef said more than 1,100 children there were suffering from acute malnutrition, with two infants reported to have died in the past month.

Human rights groups have frequently accused the Syrian government of using starvation as a weapon of war – a charge it denies.

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