Opinion Piece, Editorial Discuss Syrian Health, Humanitarian Crisis
New York Times: In Syria, Starving Instead of Fasting
Avi Asher-Schapiro, freelance journalist
“…It’s hard to overstate the psychological and physical devastation food deprivation unleashes during Ramadan, a holiday organized around the ritual of fasting all day, and feasting with family all night. … After five years of civil war, the international community is no closer to solving a vexing problem: A vast majority of starving civilians are being besieged by the Assad regime, but humanitarian aid groups cannot enter blockaded territories without regime approval, and they must stage their convoys from regime-controlled Damascus. … Before the war, Ramadan was the happiest time of year in Madaya, [Syria]… Each family would cook a different dish and share it with neighbors at sunset to break the fast. Now there’s no food to offer, and besides, people are too drained, after a year of nearly starving to death, to walk the streets and greet their neighbors…” (6/30).
The Lancet: Syria: a health crisis too great to ignore
“…As the needs of civilians in Syria increase, medical assistance is being decimated and, in many cases, deliberately targeted. … Attacks on medical personnel, facilities, and civilians in conflicts are unacceptable, and they are war crimes. What has become frighteningly apparent is that such crimes are a prevailing and increasing feature of the Syrian conflict. The U.N. Security Council and international community need to return to the negotiating table to find solutions for peace, stability, and upholding of humanitarian law in this war-devastated nation. The horrors of Syria are too great to ignore” (7/2).