Karam Foundation is outraged by the ongoing siege of Eastern Ghouta. Since October 2012, the Syrian regime has imposed a brutal siege in Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus. At least 400,000 civilians living in the region have suffered for five years under the blockade – without access to water, food, and proper medical treatment.

On Monday, October 24, images of one-month-old baby, Sahar Dofdaa went viral – showing the child’s frail body from lack of proper nourishment due to the siege. Reports indicate that the baby’s mother is unable to produce milk, and the siege has made it nearly impossible for the family to access a consistent supply of infant formula to feed their child. Since then, photos of malnourished children have circulated on the internet, part of a larger effort to share with the world the suffering on the ground. According to UNICEF, currently 1,1000 children in Eastern Ghouta are suffering from malnutrition.  


Photograph: Amer Almohibany/AFP/Getty Images

Reports indicate that more than 2 million Syrians live in besieged areas – making it nearly impossible for families in need to access aid, food, and other supplies. The siege has caused the cost of basic food supplies to skyrocket. As a result, civilians on the ground are suffering from severe malnutrition.

Karam Foundation calls on the international community to take concrete steps to lift the siege on the civilians of Eastern Ghouta. Humanitarian actors should be granted unimpeded access to Eastern Ghouta to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance.  

“It is beyond outrageous that for almost 7 years now, Syrians have shared thousands of these of horrific images of their children — shellshocked, drowned, starved, tortured, displaced — and the world continues to watch in silence. War crimes are being committed in Syria in front of our eyes. History will prove, as it has in genocides before, that the silent witnesses are as complicit in the crimes as the perpetrators,” said Lina Sergie Attar, CEO of Karam Foundation.

As humanitarians, we will continue to uplift the voices of the community, to facilitate aid distributions as needed, and to share the stories of the Syrian people on the ground. We urge the public to not let these images escape their minds and to put pressure on their representatives to take action to end the suffering of Syrian civilians.

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