Syria war: UN convoy reaches Rukban desert camp

A UN aid convoy has reached about 50,000 civilians stranded on the Syria-Jordan border – bringing the first aid the camp has received since January.

The convoy was meant to arrive at Rukban camp on 27 October, but was postponed for security reasons.

Syria’s army controls access to Rukban, which is near a US-backed rebels’ base. Jordan is also blocking aid supplies.

There have been reports of children dying due to poor sanitary conditions and a lack of healthcare at the camp.

A cluster of about 10,800 makeshift tents and mud huts, the camp has been called “one of the most desperate places in Syria”.

The UN estimates that 80% of the people stranded at Rukban are women and children, while aid groups say that pregnant women at the camp have given birth without basic medical care.

The aid convoy, operated jointly by the UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, arrived on Saturday.

“Seventy-eight trucks are delivering 10,475 food parcels and flour bags, clothes for 18,000 children, 10,075 hygiene kits and plastic sheets, [and] newborn baby kits for 1,200 children,” the Syrian Arab Red Crescent said in a statement.

The delivery is expected to take three to four days.

“We are also conducting an emergency vaccination campaign to protect some 10,000 children against measles, polio and other deadly diseases,” UN humanitarian co-ordinator Ali Al-Za’tari said.

The UN added that the overall humanitarian situation at the camp remained “at a critical…

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