TIME Syria

The Syrian Government Will Allow Aid Into the Besieged Town of Madaya

Protest for Syrians who starved to death
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Syrian civil defense team members protest for civilians who starved to death in Madaya, Jan. 6, 2016 in Aleppo, Syria

Tens of thousands of townspeople are at risk of starvation

The Syrian government will allow humanitarian aid into Madaya where 42,000 people are at risk of hunger and starvation, the U.N. said Thursday in a statement.

If full access is granted, U.N. World Food Programme spokesperson Greg Barrow told the BBC, aid trucks could arrive in Madaya by Monday.

Syrian government forces have blockaded the rebel-controlled town since July 2015 and restricted its access to aid since the last food distribution on Oct. 18. Starvation has killed 23 people since Dec. 1, aid group Médecins Sans Frontières said Thursday in statement.

Aid will also be allowed into Foah and Kefraya, northern towns besieged by rebel forces, the BBC reported.

While welcoming the approval, the U.N. also called for access to towns and cities across Syria. It estimates that about 4.5 million people live in hard-to-reach areas, of which 400,000 are in 15 blockaded locations that urgently need humanitarian assistance.


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