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The New Arab

Aleppo residents face 'very bleak' winter with no aid

Local volunteers distributed meagre bags containing the last food aid left in their depots [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 November, 2016

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Civilians in besieged Aleppo face the winter with no food or medical supplies as attacks by Syrian and allied forces increase, UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland warned on Friday.
Residents of eastern Aleppo face a "very bleak moment" as aid convoys with food and medical supplies remain blocked from reaching the besieged city, UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said on Friday.

As winter approaches, civilians stranded under heavy bombardment and, despite optimism from both Russia and rebel groups over a UN humanitarian plan to allow supplies to reach the sick and wounded, neither sides have yet consented.  

Earlier this week, local volunteers in the besieged city distributed meagre bags containing the last food aid left in their depots.

"Our depots are empty, we have nothing else to distribute," said Ammar Qadah, director of al-Sham Humanitarian Foundation, a Syrian charity in the rebel-held side of the battered city.

"Today we finished distributing food aid to the roughly 2,000 families that we support," said Qadah, speaking on Tuesday at a warehouse in the Maadi neighbourhood.

Usually, each family would receive two large boxes with enough aid to last for a month.

But this time, each received only a single bag, containing two bottles of oil, two kilos [4.5 pounds] of rice, two kilos of lentils, two kilos of sugar and a box of mortadella.

A family of five will struggle to stretch those supplies longer than a week.

No aid has entered eastern Aleppo since mid-July when government forces surrounded the rebel-held east, sealing off more than 250,000 residents from the outside world.

Some 1 million Syrians in besieged areas were supposed to receive aid under a UN plan, but not a single convoy has yet reached them as Syrian regime forces turned back aid, most recently for the town of Douma on Thursday.

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