November 30, 2017 / 12:28 PM / a year ago

UN seeks urgent medical evacuation of 500 from Syria's eastern Ghouta

GENEVA, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The U.N. humanitarian adviser for Syria called on world powers on Thursday to help arrange the evacuation of 500 people, including 167 children, from the besieged Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, saying it has become a “humanitarian emergency”.

Jan Egeland said nine children had died already in the last few weeks while awaiting a green light from the Syrian government for the sick and wounded to be evacuated to hospitals just a 45-minute drive away in the capital.

“There is no de-escalation zone, there is only escalation in this de-escalation zone,” Egeland told a Geneva news briefing. “We need sustained calm to be able to feed 400,000 people who now beyond doubt are in a humanitarian emergency”,” he added. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Tom Miles; writing by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Gareth Jones)

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