- Amid signs of hope in Syria, UNICEF chief sees ‘harsh evidence’ of war’s toll on children
- 340 refugee children drowned in Mediterranean since September, UN urges safety measures for those fleeing conflict
- Situation in Aleppo and other parts of Syria ‘grotesque’ – UN rights chief
- Delayed intra-Syrian talks, brokered by UN, to begin on Friday in ‘uphill’ bid for ceasefire
- UNHCR calls for action to end Syria conflict, refugees’ misery
- Female asylum seekers face sexual harassment on journey through Europe: Amnesty International
- ‘You cannot let more people die on your watch’ in Syria, deputy UN relief chief tells Security Council
On Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross called for immediate access to a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria which has largely been seized by Islamic State and where 18,000 people are caught up in fighting.
“The emergency medical care was urgently needed at the Yarmouk camp,” The ICRC said.
Since October 2014, the agency hasn’t able to access Yarmouk, which lies on the outskirts of Damascus.
“The ICRC is calling on all involved in fighting to allow the immediate and unimpeded passage of urgent humanitarian aid and to permit civilians who wish to leave the camp for safer areas to be able to do so at any time,” it said in a statement.
Marianne Gasser, head of the ICRC delegation in Syria, said: “People were already worn down by months of conflict and constant shortages of food, water and medicine and they need urgent help.”
Islamic State has taken most of Yarmouk from rival groups while the Syrian army surrounds the district, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Islamic State controls swathes of Syria and Iraq and is the target of U.S.-led air strikes.
Some families have managed to escape from Yarmouk to the nearby district of Yelda, the ICRC said. Along with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent it has delivered 9,500 food parcels to people in Yelda.