Syrians starving in Kobane, Red Crescent appeals


ARA News

Kobane, Syria− Several UN-linked humanitarian organizations have released statistics-backed warnings about “the hunger threatening people inside Syria, especially the internally displaced people”. However, no serious practical measures have been taken to mitigate the misery of poor and displaced Syrians, especially in the areas besieged by the regime or opposition armed groups. 

According to the Red Crescent Organization, the Syrian regime agreed with the United Nations last March on transferring relief assistance by planes from Erbil airport (in Iraqi Kurdistan) to Syria’s northeastern areas. While the regime refused a similar agreement of aid delivery through the Turkish land to areas in northern Syria.

The Red Crescent Organization still works in Syria via agreements signed with the Syrian Government.

Speaking to ARA News in the predominantly Kurdish city of Kobane, some volunteers in the Red Crescent said that the UN bodies do not have the power to bring in assistance without orders from the Security Council and permission from Damascus Government, depending on the international laws regulating the work of these bodies.

The volunteers raised the fears of “deterioration of humanitarian situation in the northern parts of Syria, such as Kobane/Ain al Arab, “due to these routine procedures”.

“The Red Crescent Organization in Aleppo used to periodically send humanitarian aid to Kobane. This aid, provided by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), is the main food source for poor and internally displaced people in these two regions. Once it stops, thousands of families will disastrously suffer, especially under the 100-day siege in Kobane (by Islamist militants).” 

Yaser al-Amir, the head of the Syrian Red Crescent branch in Kobane, said in an interview with ARA News: “Kobane depends on aid provided by the Red Crescent branch in Aleppo. However, due to the crisis and the blockage of Kobane-Aleppo road, the aid has stopped since last July. The stockpile was distributed and stopped for four months now; there is nothing in the Red Crescent’s warehouses.”

Al-Amir emphasized that according to the Red Crescent’s log, more than 2,000 displaced Syrian families have resorted to Kobane city.

“The number is unstable depending on the situation in the neighbouring areas,” He said. “These families suffer the most under the current shortage of aid.” 

According to the head of the Syrian Red Crescent branch in Kobane, some families in the city still live at schools under difficult situations. “Those families need some urgent health and relief aid.” 

Al-Amir revealed that they constantly contact the Red Crescent branch in Aleppo and other relief organizations in the region to provide residents of Kobane with sufficient aid.

Al-Amir appealed through ARA News to “all relief actors to interfere and help families registered in the Red Crescent.”

Kobane is besieged by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL), which controlled the outskirts of the city for 100 days now. Moreover, the border gate with Turkey is closed except for critical cases.


Reporting by: Sadruddin Kino 

Source: ARA News


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