A convoy from the United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent entered towns in the besieged Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta on Monday (October 30), bringing aid to 40,000 people for the first time since June 2016, the United Nations said.
A tightening siege by government forces has pushed people to the verge of famine in the eastern suburbs, residents and aid workers said last week, bringing desperation to the only major rebel enclave near the Syrian capital.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Twitter they had entered the towns of Kafra Batna and Saqba. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said in a separate tweet that the inter-agency convoy had 49 trucks.
They carried food, nutrition and health items for 40,000 people in need, OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke said, adding the last time the locations were reached was in June 2016.
At least 1,200 children in eastern Ghouta suffer from malnutrition, with 1,500 others at risk, a spokeswoman for the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said last week.