WFP warns of rising hunger in Syria
The World Food Programme sounds the alarm about record rates of hunger in Syria as the war on the country continues.
Hunger rates in Syria have reached record highs, the World Food Programme warned Friday, a decade into the devastating war being waged on the country.
The war in question has long had Syria in hot water, causing an economic crisis, damaging vital infrastructure, and plunging 2.9 million into the risk of hunger as another 12 million have no clue where their next meal will come from, the WFP said.
"Hunger soars to a 12-year high in Syria," as 70% of the population might soon be "unable to put food on the table for their families," the UN agency said.
"Syria now has the sixth highest number of food insecure people in the world," the WFP added, noting that food prices have soared by around 12 times in three years.
Moreover, it revealed that malnutrition among children and mothers was also on the rise at a never-seen-before rate.
The agency's executive director, David Beasley, stressed that if the international community did not take initiative to help Syrians, "another wave of mass migration" would be inbound.
"Is that what the international community wants?" he asked. "Avert this looming catastrophe," Beasley underlined.
The United Nations believes that some 90% of the country's 18 million people are living in poverty, in light of the staggering economy due to the war, as well as drought, a cholera outbreak, the COVID pandemic, and the economic meltdown in the neighboring country of Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council agreed earlier in January to extend a resolution on cross-border aid delivery to Syria by six months until July 10, 2023.
The resolution will allow the United Nations to deliver aid through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish-Syrian borders.
On July 11, 2022, the UN Security Council extended the cross-border aid mechanism in Syria for six months in a compromise resolution that accommodated Russia's concerns regarding the issue.
The resolution passed with 12 member states out of 15 voting in favor, while three member states, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, abstained. The abstaining nations said they wanted a resolution that provided for an automatic extension of the mechanism after the first six months.
Cross-border aid deliveries go through the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey to Syria's Idlib, which harbors a lot of internationally acknowledged terrorists. The process is not fully transparent, and it is unknown what's going on there and how the aid is delivered to those in need.
In an interview with Al Mayadeen on December 22, Syria's permanent representative to the United Nations, Bassam Sabbagh said "without lifting sanctions on Syria, the Security Council sessions cannot achieve anything."
"The United States, Britain, and France are hostile to Syria, and to any efforts to end the crisis," Sabbagh added.
Syria's permanent representative revealed that "there are attempts made by the three countries to obstruct the mechanism for letting aid enter Syria," adding that, "there will be negotiations starting from now until the expiry date of the resolution related to the entry of aid into Syria, in about 20 days."