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UN delivering aid in besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria

UNRWA official says they still need medicine and vital medical equipment to stop the spread of diseases in the camp.

13.02.2014
UN delivering aid in besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria

ISTANBUL

The UN praised the agreement that has allowed for humanitarian aid to be delivered to a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Syria on Thursday. 

Abdullah al-Laham, who heads work with Palestinian refugees for the UN Relief and Works Agency, thanks all sides in Syria for allowing medical and food supplies into Yarmouk camp near Damascus. 

"Unfortunately we couldn't enter the Yarmouk camp for six months but now [we can enter and] we are delivering the aid as far as we can," said Laham. 

"We want to make aid efforts in all cities across Syria as we have the capacity to deliver aid to all areas, mainly in Aleppo, as far as we are let in," said Laham.

Diya Mohammed, an activist living in the Yarmouk camp, told AA that 40 seriously ill people in the camp were transferred to hospitals across Damascus.

In agreement with Syrian opposition forces, officials from the pro-regime Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) - who split from the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) under the leadership of Ahmed Jibril - took the patients to hospitals across the Syrian capital, said Mohammed.

Al-Nusra Front agreed on Sunday to hand over its position in Yarmouk, which has long been blockaded by the Syrian regime, to Palestinian armed groups.

On Wednesday, Palestinian Labor Minister Ahmad Majdalani said all non-Palestinian militant groups withdrew from Yarmouk camp, south of Syrian capital Damascus.

Some 100 camp residents have already died of starvation, according to statements issued by a coalition of 40 Syrian opposition groups.

Currently, around 18,000 people live in the camp, which has remained under siege by Syrian regime forces and pro-regime militias since last September. Most of those seeking shelter there are Palestinian women and children.

In January, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees was able to enter the camp for the first time to distribute food supplies after having demanded access to the besieged camp for weeks.

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