UN appeals for $4 bn for Syrian food crisis

food crisis

On March 22nd, the UN appealed for over $4 bn in humanitarian aid to combat Syria’s worsening food crisis, according to AFP.

UN humanitarian coordinator Adam Abdelmoula said that “in 2024, we are appealing for $4.07 billion to provide lifesaving aid to 10.8 million Syrians, out of 16.7 million people assessed to be in need of assistance,” and warned that without the allocation of more funding for the war-torn country, more Syrians would be forced to migrate.

The coordinator added that inaction would mean at least 2.5 million children would be unable to return to education and about 2.3 million women of reproductive age may “lose access to vital reproductive and maternal health care.”

READ: Syria: Healthcare system on brink

Abdelmoula also noted Syria’s vulnerability to climate shocks, exacerbated by conflict, and warned of water scarcity and heatwaves depleting agriculture and livestock.

The Israel-Gaza war had led to a surge in commodity prices in Syria due to global shipping disruptions as-well-as “a significant increase in Israeli air attacks against targets in the country, he said.

Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, against Iran-backed groups such as Hezbollah and Syrian regime forces, since the outbreak of the country’s civil war in 2011. However, after a period of de-escalation of violence in Syria, such attacks have increased since the outbreak of the Israel-Gaza war, on October 7th, 2023.

READ: UN Syria commission says violence at four-year high

Syrian military sources claimed that a March 19th Israeli attack near Yabroud in the Qalamoun Mountains was the second strike on the range in 48 hours, according to Reuters. Western intelligence sources claimed that the first strike hit a position near Al-Qutayfah, 40km (25 miles) east of Damascus.

The Qalamoun mountain range, which continues into Lebanon, purportedly hosts major Hezbollah supply routes for the militia’s Syrian operations.

Abdelmoula warned of the potential for catastrophic consequences if the Syria food crisis is ignored, including the potential resurgence of terrorist groups and the further destabilization of neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Jordan, by “not creating conducive conditions for the return of refugees.”

AFP / Reuters

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