Children Need Emergency Evacuation from Syria

Children Need Emergency Evacuation from Syria

Children Need Emergency Evacuation from Syria

The United Nations children's agency said Sunday 137 children stranded in a rebel-held suburb near the Syrian capital require immediate evacuation amid a crippling siege in which five have reportedly died from a lack of medical care.

"Children are still living through so much horror", said Equiza.

Escalating violence in East Ghouta, roughly six miles east of Damascus, has cut off food supplies and medical aid to an estimated 400,000 Syrians since 2013, the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported Sunday.

The area, the last remaining rebel-held pocket near the capital Damascus, is technically part of a "de-escalation zone" brokered by Russian Federation earlier this year.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is monitoring the now almost seven-year conflict, says at least 202 people, including 47 children, have been killed in fighting in the fierce offensive.

In its statement Sunday, UNICEF said its aid workers described seeing one of the worst health situations since the conflict began in 2011 during a rare global aid convoy to a neighborhood in the Eastern Ghouta district at the end of November.

The agency demanded that 137 children be allowed to leave the besieged area immediately so they could receive treatment for conditions including kidney failure, malnutrition and injuries sustained in fighting.

"As violence continues to intensify in East Ghouta, thousands of children are suffering in silence", Fran Equiza, the UNICEF representative in Syria, said in a statement. "The situation is getting worse day by day".

According to UNICEF, almost 12 percent of East Ghouta's children under 5 years old suffer from acute malnutrition ― the highest rate recorded since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

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