On 21 April, I took my sixth trip to a besieged area in Syria – a place called Rastan, half an hour’s drive north from Homs. I was part of a joint team dispatched by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent to bring humanitarian aid to more than 120,000 people for the first time in over a year.
We crossed the frontline during the day – in contrast with previous visits to besieged areas, when we have generally only been allowed in after dark – and stayed deep into the night. All such trips have unique challenges, but they are nothing compared to the daily hardships faced by people in besieged areas.
Sadly, places like Rastan, where civilians are trapped between the warring sides, have become a common reality of the Syria conflict. People pay a huge price, struggling to survive in dangerous areas where food, water, healthcare and safety are all scarce.