Over the past few weeks, Syrians living in a remote town of Madaya have undergone starvation as pro-government forces barred humanitarian supplies from entering the area. As a result, over two dozen people lost their lives, while thousands remained hungry, surviving on grass, leaves, and boiled water.
Tragedy of Madaya is stark reminder that 1/2 million people are living in besieged or hard-to-reach areas in Syria. https://t.co/7IKy4rBAFW— Dr Joanne Liu (@JoanneLiu_MSF) January 12, 2016
However, the start of this new week finally brought relief when the international aid finally reached the starved
"The first impression is really heartbreaking," International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson Pawel Krzysiek said in an audio diary he recorded in Madaya on Monday.
A convoy of over 45 trucks carrying food, water and medical supplies entered the town, bringing with it a ray of hope for thousands of Syrian men, women, and children.
“You see a lot of people on the street, some of them smiling to us and waving to us, but many simply just too weak and with a very, very bleak expression, he added. “Very tired."
Despite the large amount of goods and supplies that have entered the Syrian town, the UNHCR has estimated that all this will last only a month. A better, more viable solution must be sought in order to help these people survive in the long run.
The Syrian war has led hundreds of thousands of people to flee the country, while many have stayed back. The government forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad is using various tactics such as blocking food, water, and aid, from entering the towns, in order to force people to surrender.
Yet another reason Assad cannot lead Syria: blocking aid to starve own people in Madaya & besieged areas. My stmt: https://t.co/OLQJ8JkApW— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) January 12, 2016
"It's really heartbreaking to see the situation of the people. A while ago I was just approached by a little girl, and her first question was: Did you bring food?" Krzysiek said. "'Did you bring food? I hope you brought food to Madaya, because we are really hungry.' And I believe her. She looked hungry.
Marianne Gasser, head of the Red Cross delegation in Syria, in a statement stated that distribution of food and supplies would go on for a few days. She went on to add that relief effort cannot be a one-time situation, and constant efforts will have to be made to meet the needs of the thousands of people living in this war-torn Syria.