Syria Crisis: The Women of Besieged Daraya Ask The World For Help

Daraya Syria Siege Middle East
A doll lies amid debris in a damaged house following an alleged shelling by Syrian government forces on the city of Daraya, southwest of the capital Damascus, on January 10, 2014. Fadi Dirani/AFP/Getty Images

We are the women of the besieged town of Daraya in Syria and we are writing to you with an urgent call to save our town.

The Syrian tragedy continues along with its repetitive scenes of bombing, destruction and siege. Our town has witnessed the worst of this for over three consecutive years. Civilians have had to pay the price under the policy of starvation.

The area is witnessing a shortage of all of the basic necessities, from the very simple, such as table salt, to the more complex, such as the ability to communicate with others. This has gotten much worse since Daraya was cut off from the neighbouring town of Moadamiyet Al Sham. The town was closed off completely in the face of fleeing civilians. We were left with a population of 8,000.

There was no life outside of the basements because of the fear of being bombed. After the recent cessation of hostilities, calm returned to the town. Still, there is no life outside of the basements because all the buildings have been brutally destroyed. We're appealing to all who see this, near and far: we need immediate assistance.

There is no food at all in Daraya. There are cases of malnutrition and we have resorted to cooking soups made purely of spices in order to stave off hunger. There are signatories to this letter that have not eaten for at least two days—some longer. There is no baby milk and no breast milk due to malnutrition. Even something as simple but as necessary as dishwashing liquid is unavailable. There are no cleaning supplies in order for us to ensure hygiene and keep diseases away.

We the women of Daraya call for:

—An immediate lifting of the siege from all sides of the town.

—The opening of the roads and the entry of basic necessities, from food and medicine to drinking water, clothes, shoes and cleaning supplies.

We call on the United Nations and all humanitarian and relief organisations to enter the town immediately and deliver humanitarian aid to all those affected as quickly as possible.

We appeal to journalists to write about Madaya and shed attention on the plight of our town before mass starvation takes. We are on the verge of witnessing deaths from starvation. The infants and the elderly will be the first to succumb. Please take action before it is too late.

A full list of the letter's signatories can be found here.

This letter was originally published by The Syria Campaign.