Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Neglected Plight of Syrians

 The media constantly moves on, forgetting crises when they are no longer news worthy. 

A record 12.4 million Syrians - nearly 60 percent of the population - are now food insecure, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP). 

In just over one year, an additional 4.5 million Syrians have become food insecure.  the number of people who are severely food insecure – meaning they cannot survive without food assistance – has doubled in just one year to stand at 1.3 million people. Unless urgent action is taken, an additional 1.8 million people are at risk of falling into severe food insecurity.

“The situation has never been worse. After ten years of conflict, Syrian families have exhausted their savings as they face a spiralling economic crisis,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Syria Sean O’Brien. It is alarming that a simple meal is beyond the reach of families across Syria, and this new data shows humanitarian assistance is the difference between putting a meal on the table and going to bed hungry. Lifesaving support has never been so crucial,” said O’Brien.

An economic crisis, job losses as a result of COVID-19 and soaring food prices have added to the plight of Syrians who have been displaced and worn down by a decade of conflict. Each month WFP provides lifesaving food assistance to almost 5 million of Syria’s most vulnerable people. For many, this is the only food they eat each month.

Basic foods to feed a family for a month – bread, rice, lentils and oil and sugar- now cost at least 120,000 Syrian Pounds which far exceeds the average salaries. Over the last year food prices across Syria have soared, and the price of basic items has increased by 236 percent, just as the value of the Syrian Pound has plummeted. On average, the price of oil has increased from 1000 Syrian pounds in Jan 2020, to 5000 Syrian pounds in Jan 2021. Parents now report making desperate decisions to survive, eating less food so they can feed their children, going into debt, and selling assets and livestock to generate an income. In addition, close to 50% of the Syrian population report having lost one or more sources of income because of the economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twelve million Syrians now in the grip of hunger, worn down by conflict and soaring food prices - Syrian Arab Republic | ReliefWeb

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