Aid delivery to besieged Syrian town delayed until tomorrow

The situation facing around 40,000 people in the town of Madaya has been described as "absolutely desperate"

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Food and medicine that had been initially promised to arrive in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya today now will not get there until at least tomorrow.

The Red Cross says the delay is because of logistical problems.

The UN's World Food Programme has been planning to deliver the first aid shipment in months, with two other Syrian villages - Kefraya and Foah - also set to receive aid tomorrow.

Around 40,000 people have been trapped in the rebel-held town of Madaya - which is located near the border with Lebanon - since July. At least 20 people have already died from starvation.

BBC reports there have been claims that people in the town are eating pets and grass to survive.

Vickie Hawkins from the charity Doctors Without Borders says it is a grave humanitarian crisis.

She says people have been getting "absolutely nothing for the past three months... the situation there is absolutely desperate":

Carolyn Miles, the CEO and president of the Save the Children charity, said, “food is being used as a weapon of war in Madaya and other besieged areas, and children are paying the price. It is appalling to see civilians being made to suffer in this way.

"Local humanitarian workers in the town are desperate to help, but they themselves have run out of food and medical supplies. If aid does not reach Madaya soon, we know that more children will die needlessly," she added.