Secretary of State John Kerry said today it’s urgent that humanitarian access be granted to besieged areas of Syria. The warring forces continue to block food and other supplies from reaching starving civilians.
Kerry, in a video message, said Syrians are starving to death, including in the town of Madaya. The World Food Programme, UNICEF and other relief agencies have been blocked repeatedly from reaching the town and others. Kerry said there are “walking skeletons” in Madaya.
Kerry welcomed the Syrian opposition’s decision to attend peace talks in Geneva to end the five year civil war. He added, “The world is hoping that both sides will move quickly to meet the needs of millions of desperate Syrians, to reduce the pressure on neighboring countries, to reduce the levels of migration, and to help restore peace and stability.”
A nationwide ceasefire is the first step being urged in the Geneva talks. This would allow humanitarian aid to pass freely to the suffering civilians and give a chance for peace talks to succeed.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners are pleading for access to the hungry. There are about 4.5 million Syrians living in besieged or hard to reach areas of the country.
Each day that passes means more people starving to death, and Syrian children suffering the irreversible effects of malnutrition. Syrians must take this opportunity for peace or there will be nothing left of their country.