Aid convoys from the United Nations and the Red Cross entered the besieged Syrian town of Madaya on Monday amid reports of residents dying of starvation.
Around 20,000 residents from Madaya, which is located 15 miles northwest of Damascus, are being deprived of food and other basic supplies, according to Doctors Without Borders. Twenty-three patients have died of starvation, the aid group said, including six patients under the age of 1.
Food, medical items, blankets and other materials were delivered by convoy, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement. This comes after shocking photos of starving Syrians — including young children — were published online and broadcast by many media outlets around the world.
Around 400,000 Syrians live in besieged areas “with little or no access to basic supplies or assistance,” according to Doctors Without Borders.
“I look like a skeleton covered only in skin,” a Syrian man identified only as Mohammad told Amnesty International last week. “Every day, I feel that I will faint and not wake up again.”
Like many in the long-besieged town of Madaya, Mohammad spent his days searching for food, resorting at times to eating the leaves off of trees in order to gain some nourishment.