Damascus/Geneva - More than 120,000 people, in the besieged town of Al Rastan, near Homs have begun receiving food, medical aid and items for the provision of clean water. The aid was delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the United Nations in a 65-truck convoy. More aid should be delivered in the coming days.
Al Rastan, which borders the governorate of Hama, has seen heavy fighting during the past four years. Very little aid has reached the town. The recent respite in fighting has now allowed for this.
"The people have suffered terribly," said Majda Flihi, who led the ICRC team into the area. "Peoples' livelihoods, especially farming and raising livestock, have been severely affected. Damage to the town's irrigation infrastructure has made the situation even worse," she said.
Today, the ICRC provided 24,000 food parcels, medicines, and wheelchairs. Water treatment materials, tanks, pumps and generators to improve the condition of boreholes and ensure steady supply of clean water to the population, were also delivered.
Whilst this aid delivery is a positive development, it is important that there continues to be regular supplies to Al Rastan and to other besieged and hard-to-reach areas.
For further information, please contact:
Pawel Krzysiek, ICRC Damascus, tel: +963 930 336 718
Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 78 or +41 79 536 92 31