Syrian food crisis to escalate without ceasefire: WFP

Syrian food crisis to escalate without ceasefire: WFP

The United Nations food agency has warned that the ongoing food crisis in Syria could deteriorate without a humanitarian pause in the conflict there.

Speaking at a press conference in the Australian capital of Canberra on Friday, the World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin said that the war in Syria had crippled its food production.

“Unfortunately, what we are seeing is we have more people who are food insecure both inside and outside Syria because of the length of the conflict and we aren’t receiving the resources that we received even last year at this time for the support of those refugees,” she said.

The official added that the UN agency was forced to cut back on assistance to thousands of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) after an appeal for a ceasefire to enable Syrians feed themselves went unheeded.

“We’re very disappointed that the calls for a cease in the fighting to support the harvest was not heeded by the parties,” Cousin said, adding, “That wheat that is harvested cannot be brought across lines of conflict into the area where it is needed most by people who are suffering now into a fifth year of this conflict.”

The UN food agency had earlier called for a ceasefire between Syria’s warring factions in May to let farmers grow and harvest their crops in the country’s northeast, and move their produce to markets such as those in the northwestern province of Aleppo and the western province of Homs (…)