Share This Page

Syrian camp begins to get supplies to ease food shortages

| Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 6:54 p.m.

Food supplies began entering a besieged rebel-held Palestinian refugee camp in Syria's capital Saturday for the first time in months, an apparent goodwill gesture by the government before a peace conference, a Palestinian official said.

The flow of food into the Yarmouk refugee camp happened on Saturday as the Syrian National Coalition, the main Western-backed Syrian opposition group, met in Istanbul, finally agreeing to participate in the peace conference this week aimed at ending the country's bloody civil war.

In Damascus, Anwar Raja, a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, said the first batch of supplies entered the Yarmouk camp on Saturday.

Yarmouk is one of the areas hardest hit by food shortages in Syria. Residents there say 46 people have died since October of starvation, illnesses exacerbated by hunger or because they couldn't obtain medical aid.

Hundreds of boxes of food entered the camp, Raja said. Much of the material was carried by members of PFLP-GC members and committees in the camp.

“The process is moving slowly since they are being carried on the shoulder to avoid sniper fire,” Raja said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of activists around the country, said an elderly man died in the camp earlier on Saturday because of the food shortage.

PFLP-GC members are fighting against Syrian opposition fighters who control most of the camp.

The aim is to send 7,000 boxes for 7,000 families into the camp's rebel-held areas, Raja said. More food supplies will be sent into the camp in the coming days and, later, medical supplies will be sent as well.

Committees in the camp will hand over the food boxes to families by name “so that (opposition) gunmen don't take them,” he said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.