The U.N. in Syria says it has delivered emergency food assistance to 40,000 people trapped in a government siege in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus.

The U.N.'s humanitarian agency says it was able to reach the eastern Ghouta suburbs on Monday, with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, but that the relief does not cover even an eighth of the estimated 350,000 people in need.

Food supplies have withered in eastern Ghouta since the government retook two neighborhoods in Damascus that were used to smuggle goods to the rebel-packed suburbs in May.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's government routinely blocks aid convoys from reaching areas opposed to its rule. The last convoy to reach Ghouta arrived one month ago.