Food crisis threatens strife-torn Syria – aid agencies

A combination of high prices, a disrupted supply chain and dwindling funds could see Syrians struggling to put food on the table in coming months, aid experts have warned.

Food is still available in Syria but the escalating conflict, which is nearing its one-year mark, has made it difficult to transport food to affected areas like the city of Homs, where aid workers said there is localized food shortage, IRIN News reports.

In addition, people in these areas are unable to afford food and other basic items because most have lost their jobs, an International Committee of the Red Cross employee said.

The conflict has also affected the ability of aid agencies to comprehensively assess the food situation in Yemen. The United Nations and the World Food Program, for instance, have said they are unable to pinpoint what exactly is lacking in Syrian markets. The “patchy” information coming from the country does hint at a possible food crisis later this year, IRIN News notes.

Meanwhile, the ICRC has appealed to rebels and Syrian authorities to agree to a daily two-hour halt in fighting to allow for aid distribution in Homs and other hard-hit areas. The United States has expressed its support for this appeal. At a press briefing on Tuesday (Feb. 21), White House press secretary Jay Carney said ceasefires will allow “provision of humanitarian supplies to Syrians who desperately need it.”

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.