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Damascus’ Yarmuk camp facing
starvation, group says

Yarmuk camp. (AFP/Carole Alfarah)

A Syrian activist group on Sunday issued a statement on the behalf of the residents of Damascus’ Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp calling for the lifting of the siege on the embattled area.

 

The Republic for Studies on the Syrian Revolution said Sunday that the siege imposed on the camp since early 2013 was intensified in July, preventing civilians from leaving or entering the camp as electricity has been cut off amid regime shelling.

 

“This has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe, leading to widespread dehydration, causing the death of some children,” the communiqué issued by the group said.

 

“In the absence of food, baby milk, medicine and medical supplies, this humanitarian catastrophe threatens to impact upon all seventy thousand Palestinian and Syrian civilians who remain in the Camp, most of whom are children, women and poor families who are unable to leave,” it added.

 

The statement also said that the Palestinian camp “is disadvantaged by its geographic location and access to natural and material resources,” adding that these factors diminished Yarmuk residents’ “ability to resist the starvation imposed on it for eight weeks.”

 

“We appeal to human rights bodies and organizations, particularly the United Nations and specifically the UNRWA, which is ostensibly responsible for the livelihood of these refugees.”

 

Yarmuk, which is located in southern Damascus, has been the focus of heavy fighting between regime forces and rebels since 2012, sparking a mass exodus of Palestinian refugees living in the camp.

 

In recent weeks the regime has intensified its shelling of Yarmuk and surrounding areas, including reportedly hitting the area with surface-to-surface missiles.

Residents walk through the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp. (AFP/Carole Alfarah)

This has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe, leading to widespread dehydration, causing the death of some children.