GENEVA - The U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) delivered rations to a record 3.8 million people in Syria in December, but civilians in eastern provinces and besieged towns near the capital remain out of reach, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The agency voiced concern at reports of malnutrition in besieged areas, especially of children caught up in the nearly three-year-old civil war, and called for greater access.

"WFP is gravely concerned about people who live in areas under siege. Their nutrition situation is expected to have deteriorated significantly," spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told a news briefing in Geneva.

The organisation has tried several times over the last few months to reach besieged areas in and around Damascus - especially Mouadamiya, Nashabiyeh, Douma, Harasta and Yarmouk - without success.

"We are quite concerned about malnutrition of children, especially in those besieged areas," she said.

Fighting in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor also prevented aid convoys from reaching people in those eastern provinces for the second consecutive month, Byrs said.

 

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