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Over 2 million Syrians risk hunger, poverty, WFP warns

A Syrian street vendor sells apples and prickly pears in the city of Qamishli of Syria's northeastern Hasakah province on August 16, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations food agency has warned that around 2.2 million Syrians risk hunger and poverty in the war-ravaged Arab country.

The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) sounded the alarm in a post on its Twitter account on Monday, saying "Without urgent help 2.2 million more could slip further into hunger and poverty.”

Back in May, WFP said a record 9.3 million people are now food insecure in Syria, which has endured almost a decade of foreign-backed militancy and is under rounds of crippling economic sanctions imposed by the United States.

The UN food agency also said that spiraling prices and the coronavirus pandemic have compounded the damage of the nine-year war.

That figure had jumped from 7.9 million six months earlier.

In April, WFP said food prices had doubled in a year to an all-time high across Syria, blaming a slowing of dollar inflows due to the financial crisis in neighboring Lebanon, along with the coronavirus lockdown.

Damascus has blamed Western sanctions for its struggling economy.


Syria has since 1979 been under arrays of unilateral and crippling economic sanctions by the US.  

The European Union has also imposed harsh economic sanctions against Syria since 2011.

The sanctions currently in place against Syria include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments and a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU. 

The US sanctions and those of the European Union, which were extended in May, not only have crippled the Arab country’s economy but have also hindered humanitarian assistance.

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