On 18 December, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, released a press statement on the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta. He called for the speeding up of medical deliveries to the region and accelerated evacuations, noting the situation in the besieged enclave near Damascus is rapidly worsening.
The situation in Eastern Goutha remains dire. Nearly 400 000 people, equivalent to 94% of all besieged populations in Syria, face major humanitarian challenges. There is a shortage of basic supplies including food, fuel and medicine, leading to severe malnutrition, medical emergencies and an increased risk of diseases such as typhoid and hepatitis. Around 500 people, including 137 children, require urgent medical evacuation. 16 people from this list died in the meantime.
Commissioner Stylianides strongly urged for the immediate granting of sustained and unhindered access for aid deliveries and medical evacuations, calling on all parties to the conflict to make the protection of civilians their utmost priority. This is not only a moral obligation, but also a clear obligation under international humanitarian law.