Starving Syrian newborn offers harrowing look at life in besieged region
WARNING: This article contains disturbing images.
A photo of a severely malnourished newborn from Syria‘s region of Eastern Ghouta is a stark reminder of the food crisis that residents in the area are facing.
The baby in the photographs, a one-month-old who weighed four pounds, died Saturday of starvation.
Her name was Sahar Dofdaa.
The child’s mother was too undernourished to produce breast milk, and her father was unable to provide supplements.
Food in Ghouta, a suburb outside of the city of Damascus, has been scarce as aid agencies struggle to reach the area, which has been blocked off by the Bashar al Assad regime since 2013.
United Nations warned Wednesday that the family’s story isn’t an anomaly. Several other children are also suffering from malnutrition.
UNICEF reported that more than 1,000 children in Eastern Ghouta are affected. The area’s population is about 400,000.
It added that if aid agencies aren’t able to reach the isolated region soon, that number will rise substantially.
UNICEF and the UN’s World Food Programme were last in Eastern Ghouta last month carrying food and medical aid for some 25,000 people, but they said it was not enough. According to The Guardian, fighting between rebel forces and hoarding of limited food supplies has made the situation worse.
WATCH: Syrian family begs for help amid worsening malnutrition crisis in eastern Damascus
The UN has only been able to reach Ghouta six times this year.
There are currently 3.5 million people living in “hard-to-reach” areas in Syria, The Guardian reported, and most are guarded by the military from the Assad regime.
The Syrian conflict has killed an estimated 400,000 people since it began in 2011.
— With files from Reuters
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