The United Nations says the world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 72 years, issuing a plea to avoid “a catastrophe”.
UN Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien, said at least 20 million people faced threat of famine and starvation in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria.
Mr O’Brien noted that $4.4 billion was needed by July to avert the disaster.
“We stand at a critical point in history; already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations.
“Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine.
“Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death,” the Humanitarian Chief told the UN Security Council on Friday.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) had warned that about 1.4 million children could starve to death in 2017.
United Nations Humanitarian Chief has called for the evacuation of some 400 people in the besieged town of Madaya for medical treatment.
Stephen O’Brien said this after the UN Security Council discussed the crisis in the town near Damascus.
“We found some 400 people who must be evacuated Immediately for medical treatment or face dying,” he said.
An aid convoy had earlier brought food to 40,000 residents of Madaya town in Syria, who have been under government siege for six months.
The UN said it had received credible reports of people dying of starvation in Madaya.
According to reports, people were believed to be eating pets and grass to survive in Madaya, near Lebanon’s border.
Simultaneously, aid lorries also entered two towns besieged by rebel forces in the northern province of Idlib under a deal between the warring parties.
The situation in Foah and Kefraya was also said to be extremely dire with an estimated number of 20,000 people trapped there since March.
According to SANA, Syria’s state news agency, 65 trucks loaded with aid supplies entered Madaya and the other besieged towns, Foua and Kefraya.
It was reported that the sight of food trucks brought starving residents to tears.
The United Nations (UN) has expressed shock over the attacks on civilians going on in Syria.
The UN’s Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien, during a visit to Damascus, said he is horrified by the attacks on non-combatants.
“I am absolutely horrified by the total disregard for civilian life by all parties in this conflict,” he said.
“Attacks on civilians are unlawful, unacceptable and must stop.”
Mr O ‘Brien said he was “particularly appalled” by government air strikes on a rebel-held territory on Sunday.
Activists said the latest air strikes which left at least 96 people dead was one of the bloodiest single incidents so far.
A Syrian military source told the Reuters news agency that the air force had targeted the headquarters of the rebel group, Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) in its strikes on Sunday.
Mr O’Brien called on both sides to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law at the end of a three-day visit to Syria, his first to the country since becoming the UN’s under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs in May.
“I am absolutely horrified by the total disregard for civilian life by all parties in this conflict,” he said. “Attacks on civilians are unlawful, unacceptable and must stop.”
The BBC reports that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that monitors the conflict, said that in Sunday’s raid on Douma air force jets fired at least 10 rockets at the town’s central market before attacking again after rescue workers arrived.