Their faces tell the story of the year that they have suffered.
Gaunt, exhausted, their strength of will almost spent, they stand amid the devastated buildings of Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.
This tide of thousands of people, including the frail and the young, stretching back as far as the eye can see, was the queue for food parcels at a United Nations relief agency distribution point.
The photograph, taken on January 31 but released only now by the United Nations, captures the desperation of the 160,000 people of Yarmouk, a predominantly Palestinian neighbourhood in the Syrian capital that has been besieged by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Chris Gunnes, called on all parties in the conflict to allow "safe and unhindered humanitarian access" to Yarmouk.
For almost a year, Yarmouk has been a battleground. Under almost constant bombardment, civilians hid in the rubble, surviving on whatever scraps of food and clean water they could bribe or beg from Assad's troops or other fighting groups.
About 7000 food parcels, a fraction of the number needed, were allowed into the area last month.
* The armed opposition to the Syrian Government suffered a serious setback yesterday when government troops killed 175 rebels in a dawn ambush south of Damascus, according to Syrian state television.