Yarmouk Crisis Deepens: aid distribution halted entirely since April 9th.

“18th April was the 9 months anniversary of the Yarmouk siege,” Alaa Aboud, head of the Palestinian League for Human Rights/Syria, told Beyond Compromise. The siege that has left approximately 18 thousands inhabitants trapped in hunger and despair while also under the arbitrary shelling and fire of snipers from Assad and his allies (It should be noted that the siege was fully imposed 9 months ago but at least partially imposed since December 2012).

A new development took place recently in the camp. Since the 9th of April, the Syrian authorities cut off what little food aids was being allowed inside the refugee camp. United Nations Relief and Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness confirmed the halt in aid distribution to the Guardian on Saturday and subsequently warned that the miniscule amounts of food available in the camp were about to run out.

Mahmoud Nassar, a Palestinian activist who has chosen to stay inside the camp, told Beyond Compromise, “there is no more food in Yarmouk. It has been around 11 days since the last shipment,” he explains, “which was not enough to satisfy the huge demand of the population anyways.”

Recently, financial aid was distributed inside Yarmouk via the Union of Operating Relief Organization, a non-formal coalition established inside the camp by local groups and organizations to coordinate aid. But it did little to ease the suffering. “Money can hardly buy a family one kg of rice,” Nassar mourned, “we are talking about a couple thousand Syrian pounds of aid while prices are extremely high.”

Regarding whether he could see any solutions in the near horizons, Nassar sounded very pessimistic: “There is not a single operational hospital inside the camp. We ran out from fuel.”

Yarmouk, since at least a year, has depended entirely on generators to run crucial medical services. The fuel these generators depend on is slowly running out as well. Today, the camp is not only being emptied of food, fuel and hope. It is also surrounded by regime checkpoint at its entrance which do not allow any Palestinians in or out of the camp. Regardless of whether they are women, children or the elderly, the regime sniper fire has transformed the entrance of Yarmouk into a death zone.

“4 dead and 8 injuries in only the last few days with no operating medical equipment,” Nassar laments before the Skype connection shuts off suddenly. Apparently, his generator has now been drained as well.

Salim Salamah

Salim Salamah is a Syrian/Palestinian writer from Yarmouk Camp. He is also the Spokesperson for the Palestinian Association for Human Rights/Syria. He tweets here.

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