Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus on January 31, 2014, in this handout picture made available to Reuters February 26, 2014. World powers have passed a landmark Security Council resolution demanding an end to restrictions on humanitarian operations in Syria, but aid workers doubt it has the punch to make Damascus grant access and let stuck convoys deliver vital supplies. The resolution called for the immediate lifting of sieges in specific towns and cities around the country, including Yarmouk, a Palestinian neighbourhood in Damascus that took in refugees after the creation of Israel, where people have been trapped for eight months by an army siege. Picture taken January 31, 2014. REUTERS/UNRWA/Handout via Reuters (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR3FQJZ
Months ago, in times better than these, the only thing that could be obtained at the markets of Yarmouk in southern Damascus was a “green starch” that could be fried and eaten. One kilogram (2.2 pounds) of rice cost between $70 and $100. Boys scurried in search of dandelions and cactus leaves. A common meal included a bowl of water and spice. Some drank dog milk. Others ate fertilizer. Many had nothing at all. And then, 12 days ago, after the Syrian authorities cut off food shipments into the Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk, everything became more dire. More