How to help Syrians in Madaya

A video was posted to social media a few days ago showing startling images and video from the Syrian town of Madaya. Pro-Assad forces and allied Hezbollah militants have held the city under siege for roughly six months, and it has run out of food. More than 40,000 people are starving there, forced to eat leaves and water mixed with spices to survive.As one media activist from the town said:“We are too weak to walk or to cover the story. I was at the makeshift hospital and there were 200 who fainted today. Yesterday alone seven people were poisoned from eating raw cat meat that wasn’t cooked properly. The situation is really bad. We have infants who died because they didn’t have any milk. Today a family ate thorns.”Soon after the outcry resulting from the widespread publication of the images and video, an aid convoy bringing food was allowed into the city; but it will not last if more are not let in. Secretary of State John Kerry has already begun pushing for full access to Madaya and other areas which can't currently get aid.Madaya represents only a small fraction of the people in Syria who can not currently receive aid because of government sieges, and the Assad government continues to carry out daily airstrikes on civilian areas. Some fear the peace talks could fall apart as a result. At the same time, anti-government fighters have been accused of taking the little food still available and selling it back to people at astronomical prices.To help people in Madaya, you can donate to local organizations supporting Syrians, such as the ones we wrote about here, and larger NGOs working in Madaya and the rest of Syria such as the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (the local Red Cross affiliate), UNICEF, the World Food Program, and Doctors Without Borders. You can also sign these three petitions. And, since the recent convoy was a result of raised awareness and increased pressure on the Assad regime, you can educate yourself and share the plight of the people in Madaya with others. further reading:Syria to allow aid to starving residents after release of graphic imagesAid Convoy Enters Madaya, a Besieged Syrian Town