The Current

Starving Syrians trapped in besieged town of Madaya

The city of Madaya, not far from the Syrian capital, Damascus is under siege by Assad forces. And the people of Madaya are political pawns, starving to death and calling for help. Today, we hear how average citizens are paying the price of the conflict.

Food as a weapon of war

Malnourished children are trapped in Madaya, Syria
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Food As a Weapon of War

Inside Syria today, there is no shortage of tragedy.  But the town of Madaya does stand out. It's under siege and its people are starving. 

Madaya is home to about 40,000 people and it's just 24 kms from the Syrian capital, Damascus. Madaya has been blockaded for months ... both by Syrian forces loyal to the Assad regime, and by Hezbollah members. 

Rami Jarrah is the Project Manager for ANA PRESS, an independent network of journalists in Syria. He's also the recipient of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression's 2012 International Press Freedom Award.  We reached him in Southern Turkey. 

If and when aid does start getting in to Madaya, the World Food Programme will be one of the groups doing the heavy lifting. Abeer Etefa is with the World Food Programme in Cairo, Egypt. We asked her what she hopes will happen now, and what needs to happen next. 

Kiffah tells BBC's Lyse Doucet: "There is no bread" (BBC News Report)

In 2014, the BBC's Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet saw first-hand the starvation taking place in another part of Syria - in the Yarmouk refugee camp. 

Residents queue up to receive humanitarian aid at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, in Damascus March 11, 2015. (Reuters)

Madaya joins a list of other parts of Syria that have been subject to blockades that have prevented food, water, and the most basic necessities of life... and we don't hear about them.

Lyse Doucet joined Connie Walker from London, England. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Gord Westmacott.