On 18 December, temporarily suspended evacuations from eastern Aleppo resumed under an agreement between the parties that included proportional departures from Foah and Kafraya.
An inter-agency UN team were present at the Ramoussah Bridge to observe the evacuation process.
As of 20 December the ICRC estimates that more than 25,000 people have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo since 15 December.
The UN has received authorization to send surge staff to Aleppo to play a critical role in the monitoring of evacuations under UN Resolution 2328.
In the interim, conditions for IDPs in Mahalej are slowly improving, as the site is less congested and WASH facilities have been thoroughly cleaned.
On the night of 18 December, evacuations of both civilians and fighters, from eastern Aleppo to rural western Aleppo and Idleb resumed after an agreement had been reached that also includes proportional evacuations of residents from non-State armed group-besieged Foah and Kafraya in Idleb. Similar to the previously suspended evacuations on 15-16 December, SARC and ICRC were requested by the parties to facilitate the evacuation of sick and wounded people from eastern Aleppo. While evacuations were stalled for almost two days, people in eastern Aleppo were left waiting with limited access to food, water, health and shelter and exposed to sub-zero temperatures. The first batch of five buses finally departed eastern Aleppo on 18 December at 11pm. The UN interagency team observing the evacuation, reported that by the time the buses departed, people has been sitting on those buses for over 10 hours. Medical staff in eastern Aleppo reported that people were not allowed off the buses including 18 infants, who had no access to food or baby milk.
From 18 December to midday 20 December, 184 buses and two ambulances carrying patients had left eastern Aleppo. ICRC reported that since 15 October, over 25,000 people have been evacuated from the besieged neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo. Most buses were released in groups of 25, carrying men, women and young children alike. In the so called ‘zone zero’, after the Government/Russian Federation checkpoint, a small number of people departed from the buses in order to stay in Government-controlled west Aleppo instead of going to nonState armed group-controlled Idleb. The UN, as mandated by UN Resolution 2328 (2016), is in the process of strengthening its capacity in Aleppo city. On 19 December, the UN has received Government approval to send surge staff to Aleppo. The surge was requested on 13 December to augment the response team in Aleppo.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.