As world leaders struggle to reach a deal to stop the appalling bloodshed in Syria, our humanitarian partners tell us a significant number of casualties they’re pulling from the rubble, or treating in hospitals, are children.
It paints a picture of unimaginable violence and suffering for children and their families.
One hospital said 43% of the injured they treated at the weekend were children, and the ambulance crew with Shafak, a Syrian NGO, said more than 50% of the casualties they’re helping to rescue are children.
Whatever it takes
Doctors are working around the clock to save them, but children are dying on the floors of hospitals due to shortages of basic medicines and equipment. Severe cases need to be transferred out of Eastern Aleppo, but all roads are blocked.
Dr Abu Rajab, who works at a hospital in the besieged enclave, said on Sunday that five children died the night before because the hospital did not have enough ventilators to treat them.
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Medical equipment shortages
Dr Rajab told us: “The field hospitals where we work are completely full with injured people and casualties, the majority of them women and children. The patients are on the floor, with no ventilators for the ones who need oxygen.
“We have to take the ventilators from one patient to save another. We have severe shortages [of medicines and equipment] and exhausted medical staff who are working above human ability, 24 hours a day.”
“Through you, we are calling for immediate help, calling all humans around the world. We demand, through the Security Council’s platform, to stop the airstrikes on Aleppo city – the airstrikes which are causing all of this.”
Atrocities against children
Aid agencies estimated there were at least 100,000 children trapped in eastern Aleppo when the siege was first imposed in June.
Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria Director, said: “We are witnessing an appalling atrocity being perpetuated against the children of Aleppo in front of our eyes today. The failure to protect them and children across Syria will haunt the international community for decades to come.
“We urgently need world leaders and parties to the conflict to agree an immediate ceasefire, with roads opened to allow us to bring desperately needed food, clean water and medical supplies in.
“There must also be accountability and justice for what has happened. We support calls for an independent investigation into the attack on the UN/SARC aid convoy last week and into other potential breaches of International Humanitarian Law and war crimes committed in this latest escalation.”
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