Suffering in besieged Madaya has no precedent in Syria war: UN

12th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

The suffering in the Syrian town of Madaya is the worst seen in the country's civil war, the United Nations said Tuesday, a day after delivering aid to the area besieged for months.

"There is no comparison in what we saw in Madaya," the UN refugee agency's chief in Damascus, Sajjad Malik, told journalists in Geneva, when asked to compare the devastation in the town to other areas in Syria.

He said there were "credible reports" of people starving to death during the months-long siege by pro-regime forces.

A convoy of 44 trucks from the UN, Syrian Red Crescent and International Red Cross (ICRC) delivered emergency food supplies to Madaya on Monday, in the first aid to reach the area since October.

"There was no life," said Malik, who was in the convoy, describing a town of desperate people who in many cases were too weak to voice outrage over their suffering.

Food has been so scarce that people "repeatedly mentioned that a kilo of rice would cost $300 (275 euros)", Malik said.

One family "sold a motorbike to get five kilos of rice," he added, detailing the extent of the devastation among the town's estimated 40,000 inhabitants.

"Whatever we had in the cars, we gave to them," Malik said.


© 2016 AFP

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