Hunger and Uncertainty for Children in Douma, Eastern Ghouta
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (April 4, 2018) – As negotiations over a reconciliation deal continue in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, tens of thousands of civilians are estimated to remain in the opposition-held area. There are acute shortages of medical supplies and nutritious food in the enclave, which - according to Save the Children’s partners - has left many children malnourished.
Local organizations remain on the ground going door-to-door delivering aid to basement shelters where many civilians who remain in the enclave are seeking safety. In the last week, Save the Children partners in Douma have reached more than 1,000 people a day with hot meals, and provided food baskets to malnourished children. A number of humanitarian workers and medics have fled with their families already, reportedly leaving only two fully qualified doctors in the city.
Save the Children is deeply concerned about the safety and security of humanitarian workers and other civilians, both those who remain in Eastern Ghouta and those who are evacuating to other areas.
There has been a significant increase in deadly airstrikes on Idlib, where thousands of families are being evacuated, over the last few weeks leading to the deaths of children and aid workers. It is essential that the warring parties work with the UN and ICRC to ensure that anyone who chooses to remain in Eastern Ghouta is protected from renewed violence, arbitrary arrest or retaliation, and that civilians who want to leave to opposition-held areas are free to do so.
In February, the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2401 calling for a 30 day nationwide cessation of hostilities - which needs to be implemented immediately to ensure aid reaches the most vulnerable.
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