Syrian staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross evacuate a wounded baby in Douma in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on December 26, 2017. AFP / ABDULMONAM EASSA
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Evacuations of the critically ill in besieged Eastern Ghouta have started after a prisoner release deal was agreed between Damascus and a rebel faction, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson told The Daily Star Wednesday.Ingy Sedky, spokesperson for the ICRC in Damascus, confirmed to The Daily Star that the Syrian government had given them and the Syrian Red Crescent permission to facilitate the evacuation of 29 patients on the agreed list of evacuees.She said that four patients were evacuated late Tuesday accompanied by family members, and were all receiving treatment in hospitals in Damascus.This comes two months after the United Nations asked Syrian President Bashar Assad to allow the evacuation of the 29 patients.Damascus did not immediately comment on the evacuation.Since July, 18 patients have died waiting for treatment, he added.TheA UNICEF survey in November said that 11.9 percent of children under the age of 5 were suffering from acute malnutrition in Eastern Ghouta, home to around 400,000 people.
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