The UN Children’s Fund said on Wednesday that it recorded the worst malnutrition rate since the start of the Syrian civil war in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus.
“Violence, lack of humanitarian access and sky-rocketing food prices have worsened malnutrition among young children in besieged East Ghouta,” UNICEF said in a release.
According to the agency, half of nearly 400,000 people trapped in the area are believed to be children.
“My girls take turns eating now. We barely have any food so each one eats one meal every three days.” Om Sanaa, a widowed mother of three lives in Kafr Batna, Syria, where much of the arable farmland has fallen under the front lines of conflict. https://t.co/VMlY2G0hdC
— World Food Programme (@WFP) November 26, 2017
A survey conducted by the UNICEF in early November revealed that 11.9 percent of children under five years old suffering from acute malnutrition – “the highest rate ever recorded in Syria since the beginning of the nearly seven yearlong conflict.”
“A similar study in January this year showed that 2.1 per cent of children surveyed in East Ghouta suffered from acute malnutrition,” the agency noted.
Syria’s Eastern Ghouta is one of the last regions in the country controlled by rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.