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The last week has seen the surge of violence in Syria’s city of Aleppo, in which every hospital in the rebel-held east Aleppo has been damaged to the extent of putting them out of service (a statement confirmed by the World Health Organization), leaving more than 250,000 men, women, and children living in east Aleppo without access to health care. In light of this, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) reaffirms its firm stance against violations of International Humanitarian Law and attacks on health care workers, facilities, and systems.
Despite aid convoys having reached 18 besieged and 164 hard-to-reach areas with 220 tons of medical and health supplies from January to August in Syria, it has not been enough and the health situation of the country continues to spiral downwards: children are not getting vaccines, pregnant women are not receiving proper care, the injured need more treatment, and 1 in 4 children are at risk of developing a mental disorder.
UN human rights official Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein stated that Syrian and Russian airstrikes against East Aleppo’s civilians are “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity,”. Russia has issued a “humanitarian pause” of fighting since Thursday to allow residents to flee East Aleppo, but many do not trust the declaration and are remaining put. An all-encompassing ceasefire has been called by the UNHCHR.