GENEVA: At least 84 people, two thirds of them children, have died since December on their way to Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria after fleeing Daesh in the Deir Ezzor region, the United Nations said on Friday.
"There are reports of 175 children having been hospitalised due to medical symptoms from severe acute malnutrition," Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), also told a news briefing, citing reports from UN agencies and aid groups on the ground.
Some 13,000 people fled Deir Ezzor last week, many of them arriving at al-Hol, and the exodus continues on what is a "long and very tiring journey", he said.
Meanwhile, the Russian military says the Syrian government is sending convoys to evacuate a refugee camp in southern Syria where tens of thousands suffer from lack of food and medical supplies.
Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said the Syrian convoys are heading on Friday to the Rukban camp and urged the U.S. military in the area to secure its safe passage. Russia has blamed the US for failing to provide normal conditions in the camp, which is home to about 40,000 people.
Mizintsev says the US military would bear "full responsibility for the safe passage" of convoys through its zone of control.
The Russian military said it will work together with the Syrian army to escort the convoys as they head to temporary accommodation centers for refugees established in several Syrian provinces.