Syria: Death, Shortage of Food, Water and Medical Services

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – While the Syrian regime “brutal crackdown” on pro-democracy protesters continues unabated, with the death toll surpassing 3,500, the UN has now voiced concern over “shortages of food, water, electricity and medical services in Syria.”

Syria women protesting - Credit: UN

The UN World Food Programme, while reporting on this situation, requested that humanitarian agencies be allowed to go to all areas where people are in need of assistance.

The agency has not been able to carry out a full evaluation of the food situation in Syria, but plans to distribute 50,000 monthly ration packs this month, in addition to the 22,000 rations delivered in August, WFP spokesperson Gaëlle Sévenier said.

WFP has been working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to distribute the food to some of the most vulnerable families in the country, she said on Nov.11. “Many Syrians were already grappling with high food prices, but the situation has deteriorated for families who have lost their property in the ongoing conflict and as a result of drought.”.

Aid Also to 100,000 Iraqi Refugees

The agency is also providing food aid to an estimated 100,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria using a text messaging system that enables people to buy rice, cheese, eggs and fresh produce, Sévenier said.

More than 3,500 people have been killed since the Syrian Government began a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in March, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The protests are part of a wider pro-democracy movement across North Africa and the Middle East this year that has toppled long-standing regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Brutal Crackdown

The brutal crackdown on dissents in Syria continues unabated despite the signing of an Arab League peace plan last week, the United Nations human rights office reported today, adding that the death toll has now surpassed 3,500,” the UN reported.

We are deeply concerned about the situation and by the [Syrian] Government’s failure to take heed of international and regional calls for an end to the bloodshed,” Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said in Geneva on Nov. 9, 2011.

Appalling Situation

While the Syrian government announced the release of 553 detainees on Nov. 5 on the occasion of Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, tens of thousands remain in detention and dozens continue to be arbitrarily arrested everyday. Syrian troops continue to use tanks and heavy weaponry to mount attacks on residential areas in the city of Homs.

The situation in the neighbourhood of Baba Amr has been particularly appalling, said Shamdasani. According to information received by OHCHR, the neighbourhood has remained under siege for seven days, with residents deprived of food, water and medical supplies.



Also read: 

Syria: Bullets, Fists and Electric Cables against Protestors


Syria: No Light at the End of the Tunnel… So Far


2011 Human Wrongs Watch

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