Yarmouk children suffering from 'acute malnutrition'

Yarmouk children suffering from 'acute malnutrition'
The UN say acute malnutrition is widespread amongst large numbers of children in the Yarmouk camp, as the crisis in the camp and in Syria continues to worsen.
2 min read
28 April, 2015
Medical personnel have detected acute malnutrition among 3 out of 19 children [Anadolu]

The United Nations has said that it is concerned that many children in Yarmouk refugee camp are suffering from acute malnutrition.

"We are extremely concerned about the patients we are seeing from Yarmouk and what it suggests about health situation inside the camp," said Christopher Gunness, spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

"Medical personnel detected acute malnutrition among three out of nineteen children (under-five) seen, representing a rate of 16 per cent" Gunness added.

     Refugees were living on rations of some 400 calories per day

UN's recent situation report published on Friday revealed that the vulnerability of civilians in Yarmouk remains of the highest severity.

Gunness stressed that without access, the most basic humanitarian needs of up to 18,000 Palestinian and Syrian civilians, including 3,500 children, continue to be left unmet.

The UNRWA said refugees were living on rations of some 400 calories per day, well below the minimum average of 2,000 set by the World Health Organisation.

Pierre Krahenbuhl, of the Palestinian UNRWA relief agency, described the situation in the camp as "more desperate than ever."

Jordan's Ambassador Dina Kawar, who chaired a UN Security Council earlier this month to demand aid access to Yarmouk camp, expressed a deep concern over the "grave situation" for the 18,000 refugees in the camp and demanded safe passage for the evacuation of civilians.

The council called for unhindered humanitarian access and protection of civilians inside the UN camp, now mainly controlled by Islamic State militants following heavy fighting this month, seeking $30 million in emergency aid to help the refugees in the embattled camp.

"We again demand secure and sustained humanitarian access to civilians inside the camp," Gunness said.

"They have suffered enough. We cannot allow malnutrition to rise among children."