Along with Madaya, Islamic Relief is also on the ground finalising arrangements to deliver food in six other besieged areas: East Ghouta, West Ghouta, Southern Damascus Suburb, Northern Homs Suburb, Darayya and Moadamiyeh, places where people are in desperate need.

The tragedy of Madaya’s 42,000 malnourished people has hit the headlines across the world, but Madaya is only part of the story. Overall there are 400,000 Syrians living under siege in 15 locations. Islamic Relief is working to provide food aid in seven of them including Madaya. With your help we can provide life-saving aid where it is needed most.

We welcome the Syrian Government’s decision to allow some aid into Madaya. But without immediate, unimpeded and extended humanitarian access, more people are at risk of dying as the coldest weeks of winter approach.

Imran Madden, Islamic Relief’s UK Director, says: “Any temporary break in the siege in places like Madaya will provide only temporary respite for starving people. The UN and aid agencies need to be given unimpeded and extended humanitarian access to Syria’s most battered and besieged communities. No diplomatic stone should be left unturned in trying to bring this brutal conflict to an end.”

Last week the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that a 53-year-old man died of starvation in Madaya. He was one of 23 deaths from hunger and malnutrition in just one month, his remaining family of five continues to suffer from severe malnutrition.

The siege has led to severe food shortages in turn creating a surge in prices for basic goods such as rice, sugar and baby formula. For example the cost of 900g of powdered formula for babies has reached over £200. Desperation to overcome extreme hunger has forced some people to eat cat or dog meat, insects and leaves from plants and trees.

Islamic Relief is determined to get aid through in the hardest-to-reach places, keeping hope alive.

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