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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.
As the Syrian and Russian governments planned to halt their bombing of civilians and hospitals in Aleppo, attacks on medical facilities in other parts of Syria continued unabated. Coalition member Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) documented a series of deadly strikes on hospitals throughout Syria and urged the international community to heed these ongoing violations of international law.
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.
The WHO has urgently asked for $22.35 million to prevent cholera from spreading throughout the country, after 18 cases of the disease have been confirmed among 340 suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea. Due to conflict, two thirds of the country’s population do not have access to clean water and sanitation, increased malnutrition is prevalent, and health systems’ resources are scarce.