UN Records Worst Malnutrition Rate in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

Eastern Ghouta, Syria
Souad, 38, from Ghouta near Damascus, sits with her daughters and husband in a disused store in which they now live, in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, on July 23, 2014. Photo: Sam Tarling, NRC

The UN Children’s Fund said on Wednesday that it recorded the worst malnutrition rate since the start of the Syrian civil war in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus.

“Violence, lack of humanitarian access and sky-rocketing food prices have worsened malnutrition among young children in besieged East Ghouta,” UNICEF said in a release.

According to the agency, half of nearly 400,000 people trapped in the area are believed to be children.

A survey conducted by the UNICEF in early November revealed that 11.9 percent of children under five years old suffering from acute malnutrition – “the highest rate ever recorded in Syria since the beginning of the nearly seven yearlong conflict.”

“A similar study in January this year showed that 2.1 per cent of children surveyed in East Ghouta suffered from acute malnutrition,” the agency noted.

Syria’s Eastern Ghouta is one of the last regions in the country controlled by rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.

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