U.S. Department of State
Office of The Spokesperson
January 15, 2016
Yesterday, a second joint UN-ICRC-Syrian Arab Red Crescent humanitarian convoy of over 60 aid trucks reached the towns of Madaya, Foah, and Kefraya, where staff immediately distributed flour, winter clothes, blankets, and specialized health and nutrition supplies. Medical personnel and nutritionists are accompanying the convoy to Madaya to examine patients, determine the criticality of health conditions, and provide on-site medical treatment as needed. UNICEF has now publicly confirmed cases of severe malnutrition were found among children in Madaya, and tragically announced that their staff was there to witness the death of a severely malnourished 16-year-old boy who passed away right in front of their eyes.
So while we’re relieved about the arrival of additional assistance, this suffering, this obstruction of humanitarian access, should never have happened in the first place. And the overdue aid that’s finally reached places like Madaya is still not going to be enough. What the Syrians need is immediate unimpeded humanitarian access, consistent and recurring.