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Syria: Convoys to deliver aid 'simultaneously' to besieged towns

Sources told The New Arab trucks carrying 300 tonnes of aid would enter Madaya [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 January, 2016

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The starving population of Madaya under regime siege will today receive food and medical supplies, in a deal that will also see aid delivered to northern towns under rebel siege.
Aid convoys carrying food and medical supplies set off on Monday morning to the regime-besieged town of Madaya in the Damascus countryside, and the rebel-besieged towns of Kefraya and Fuaa in Idlib province, The New Arab has learned.

The aid is expected to enter the besieged towns simultaneously on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the number of people who died from starvation has risen to 42, after a woman and a child died of malnutrition over the weekend, opposition sources inside Madaya told The New Arab.

There are several more people at severe risk of dying from starvation and lack of medical care, the sources added.

Around 60 vehicles carrying 300 tonnes of aid are expected to make the trip to Madaya over the next three days, according to the sources.

"The people of Madaya who have been besieged for around six months have been gathering since the early morning near the entrance of the town, waiting for the aid to arrive," said the sources.

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The UN World Food Programme had earlier announced on its Twitter page that volunteers from the WFP, ICRC and the Syrian Red Crescent were loading aid trucks with food and supplies meant for Madaya.

A spokeswoman for the WFP confirmed the aid convoys would reach the besieged towns at the same time today, noting that more than 400,000 civilians were under siege in Syria, and stressing that all sides in the Syrian conflict have used sieges as a weapon of war.

The operation to deliver much needed food and medicine to counter major shortages in the areas was agreed on last week.

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