'The queue is endless and you need to wait for long hours'
Abu Issa, 60
From Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp
We’ve got nothing . No food, no money. We are sharing the animals’ food now by living on grass we get from the gardens. I have diabetes, but there is no medication. The Syrian army do not allow anything to get in unless the rebels leave the camp, and the rebels refuse to leave and we are stuck between them. The UN aid reaches the camp from time to time, but I have nobody to go and queue for food. The queue is endless and you need to wait for long hours. I’m an old man and as well as my wife I have three sons. They were desperate to leave the camp by any means. A smuggler promised to take them out of Syria, but they were arrested at the first checkpoint and I know nothing about them, if they’re dead or alive. We are dying and the whole world is careless, as if we are not human beings - even animals are worth more than us.
'They have to bribe soldiers on the checkpoint to get food inside'
Adnan Younis, 50
From Ghouta in Damascus
There is not a piece of bread in Ghouta. We have slaughtered all the sheep and chickens but there is nothing coming as a substitute. We survive on a single meal a day. We are in everlasting fasting. The only choice is to grind the barley to make bread, nothing else. If we are lucky we might get some pickles from some friends.
We are nine at home, we have nothing to feed the children, who do not understand that there is a human blockade on Ghouta. They want food, but we have nothing to offer them except the barley we grow in our gardens. There is a charity funded by some rich dignitaries in Ghouta, it provides us with soup, with some mutton. They have to bribe the soldiers on the checkpoint to let food get inside.
'We are living on leaves. You can see that the trees are naked'
Iyad Wissam, 30
The warplanes are shelling everything in the city from early morning. We are living on the leaves of trees. If you come around, you can see that the trees are naked. We boil the leaves to make soup. This is the only solution. The last food aid arrived to the city two months ago. We got two UN trucks loaded with wheat, rice, food oil, sugar and pickles cans, in addition to kitchenware. The aid was divided among the locals and each man got a portion that was enough for two days.
The acute shortage of food has pushed some of the men to hand themselves to the army just to get some food. We are slaughtering cats and cooking them out of our desperation. We are using cowhide leather used at the shoes and bags factory in the city to make soup. We are living on a single poor meal per day which is made of grass, leaves or water with some spices. There is no food to have in the city at all. It is a city for the dead, it is a graveyard. Even the rebels can’t fight any more for lack of nutrition and medical supplies. The situation here is terrible.
'The truth is we are living like stone age people'
Abu Ayham, 45
The whole infrastructure is devastated in Zabadani district. There are no food supplies coming to the town at all. I have six children, in the morning we have tea and bread. If we are lucky, we might have yoghurt. I can’t get any milk for the children except if someone falls ill, then I have to buy a kilo of milk for 1,200 Syrian pounds [£5]. It is madly expensive. Sometimes the regime takes a break from shelling Zabadani, we run to the mountain to get some grass that we can cook. The only way to get food is to go to Damascus, but how could you do that with more than 350 checkpoints all the way to the capital? There is no fuel for cooking, we cook on wood. The truth is we are living like stone age people who were dwelling in caves.
A kilo of rice costs more than 500 syrian pounds’
Um Nadiya, 30
There are food products here, but the prices are too high, a kilo of rice costs more than 500 Syrian pounds, who can afford that? We have yoghurt for breakfast and pasta for lunch. We were waiting for Zabadani’s groves to ripen, but all the vegetables and fruits got frozen this year. We can’t afford to buy fresh vegetables, we buy old ones because it is cheaper. The situation is getting worse. We are worried that a military campaign might start against Zabadani soon. We have power four hours per day, I have to cook within these hours or we will be without food all the day.
'Forget about the infants' milk, only lucky children can get it'
Um Al Yazied, 50
The situation is gruesome here, for a year now we have not had a taste of mutton or chicken. Forget about the infants’ milk, only lucky children can get it. If you want to go to Damascus to buy some food by yourself for your family, you have to get approval from the city council and there are seven checkpoints. We used to store food at home, but no more. We rarely have vegetables. Few pieces of bread are allocated for each family; [if you want more] you need to smuggle wheat in and it costs you no less than 5,000 Syrian pounds.