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SYRIA: Three million people need food aid - UN
Some Syrian families are selling their livestock to survive
DUBAI, 2 August 2012 (IRIN) - The Syrian conflict has left up to three million people in need of food assistance and agricultural support in the next year, according to the UN and the Syrian government.
Family income has dropped; the cost of fuel is rising; remittances are down; farmers and herders have lost their assets and livelihoods; the wheat harvest has been delayed; and deforestation is rising, the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform found in a joint assessment
conducted in June.
Syria’s agricultural sector has lost US$1.8 billion this year because of the Syrian crisis, the assessment found.
“The effects of these major losses are first, and most viciously, felt by the poorest in the country. Most of the vulnerable families the mission visited reported less income and more expenditure - their lives becoming more difficult by the day,” WFP Representative and Country Director in Syria Muhannad Hadi said in a statement
WFP and FAO say they need $100 million to scale up food distributions and assistance to rural people. A broader appeal by the UN for $180 million, launched in April, to respond to humanitarian needs in Syria remains one-quarter funded.
See previous IRIN reporting on food insecurity in Syria here:
SYRIA: Anticipating a hungry winter
Analysis: Worrying signs for food security in Syria
SYRIA: Insecurity makes drought-hit farmers even more vulnerable
Analysis: Signs of a faltering economy in Syria
In Brief: Syria unrest a risk for food security
SYRIA: Cash payments to thousands of vulnerable families
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]