Published: 2020-06-29 18:58
Last Updated: 2020-06-29 19:14
More than nine million Syrians face food shortages amid the country’s economic collapse, increasing their vulnerability to COVID-19, international aid agencies have warned.
Covid-19 restrictions, the collapse of the Syrian pound, and the displacement of millions of people have led to an unprecedented number of families in Syria who are no longer able to put food on the table or make enough money to afford basic necessities.
A total of 9.3 million Syrians face hunger and a further 2 million are at risk of a similar fate – part of an overall rise of 42% in the number of Syrians facing food insecurity since last year, according to aid agencies.
Almost a decade of war has taken its toll on the country and its resources. Syrian health facilities are chronically understocked, the main water pumping station - servicing 460,000 people - is regularly out of commission and there is a lack of Covid-19 testing capacity.
The combination of decimated health facilities, overcrowded refugee camps and an inability to work has made the country vulnerable to coronavirus.
The Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Humanity & Inclusion, CARE International, World Vision International, International Rescue Committee, and Mercy Corps issued a joint call for an increase in funding to prevent Syrians from facing starvation, ahead of the Brussels Conference hosted by the EU and the UN, taking place on Tuesday.
The annual conference aims to raise funds and agree on policy changes that will help Syrians inside the country, as well as those displaced and living in refugee camps across the region.