The last of stockpiled rations were distributed Thursday in east Aleppo, and widespread starvation is expected to set in as winter arrives if no progress is made in negotiations to deliver food and medical aid, the United Nations said.
“It is terrible as we speak; it could get much worse,” U.N. relief envoy Jan Egeland said in Geneva. “I do not think anybody wants a quarter of a million people to be starving. . . . I cannot see anyone wishing to see so many civilians bleed to death . . . because of indiscriminate war.”
Egeland said that “tremendous ground fighting” between the two sides has stopped repeated plans to deliver aid to civilians and evacuate the wounded.
He pleaded with Russia and the United States to continue trying to negotiate some form of cease-fire. “It is only when these two . . . have been leading that we have made progress, when we have not been completely stalled,” Egeland said.
Planned humanitarian convoys have yet to deliver aid, he said, because of the danger and the inability to obtain simultaneous security guarantees from all sides.
“Syria is the worst war, the worst humanitarian crisis, the worst displacement crisis, the worst refugee crisis in a generation” Egeland said.