The United Nations Must Take Actions regarding Expired Food Aid in Syria

Expired Food Aid

On 18 October 2015, a food aid convoy entered Madaya and Al Zabadani cities in Damascus suburbs under the auspices of the United Nations. The two cities have been under government siege since 1 July 2015. The convoy was accompanied by a delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent; as the delegation was headed by Mr. Mansour Fakhri.

Almost 24 freight vehicles of food aid entered Al Zabadani in addition to two more that were loaded with food and medical aid. Local and relief aid councils distributed the humanitarian aid to the residents of those cities except the energy biscuits which were distributed on 20 October 2015. After its distribution, nearly 200 residents reached the makeshift hospitals and they presented symptoms of food poisoning.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights communicated with the local councils in Madaya and Al Zabadani in addition to makeshift doctors in those cities. We realized that the only substance that caused the food poisoning was the Italian-made biscuits that expired in September 2015. Further, it seems that the biscuits were poorly stored because it was moldy and rotted. Also, we realized that the Syrian Red Crescent filled the freight cars with biscuit packages from the warehouse of the expired materials after a lack in the quantity of the edible packages which was supposed to be sent in the relief-aid convoy.

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