Thousands face starvation in Syrian desert camp

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Aid deliveries are failing to reach thousands of civilians stranded in a camp on the Jordanian-Syria border in critical need of help.

SYRIA (REUTERS) - It is known as one of the most desperate places in Syria. Over 50,000 civilians are stranded at the remote border camp on the Syria-Jordan border. Mostly women and children, the young are dying of starvation.

While governments trade blame over who is responsible. Children are searching for food in the trash. 'We're hungry, we're gathering scraps of food to eat,' said a young girl.

The camp has been under siege by the Syrian army and a block on aid by Jordan. UN aid deliveries also haven't been able to reach Rukban camp due to security concerns. Satellite imagery shows a cluster of about 10,800 makeshift tents in the country's remote desert.

UN Emergency Relief Co-ordinator Mark Lowcock siad, "the population at Rukban has not received assistance since January this year and they are increasingly desperate, they are continuing reports of children dying due to poor sanitary conditions and a lack of health care. This dire humanitarian situation cannot be allowed to continue. The UN is willing and ready to proceed with the convoy immediately".

Exposed to the elements, heavy sand storms and rain have hit the area in recent weeks. This man begs for help as his home is destroyed for a second time. Rukban lies inside a "deconfliction zone" set up by US forces.

Damascus says US troops are occupying Syrian territory and providing a safe haven for rebels.

Western diplomats believe the siege of the camp was part of a Russian-led effort to put pressure on Washington to get out of the area. For those stuck in the camp, they say the situation is desperate.

They are stranded between two countries, caught up in politics without proper shelter and in desperate need of food.

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