World Food Programme spokesman Herve Verhoosel said Tuesday that Syria’s wheat production this year fell to a 29-year low of 1.2 million tons, about two-thirds of last year’s levels.
Verhoosel said the drop is due to an extended period of dry weather early in the season followed by heavy, out-of-season rain. Other reasons included the huge waves of displacement of civilians in many parts of the country due to the bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian forces, causing further deterioration of the agricultural sector.
The crop assessment and food security mission reported that this year’s wheat production in Syria fell to the lowest level in 29 years, equivalent to about two-thirds of production levels last year.
UN officials said that about 44 percent of Syrian households have reduced the number of meals they eat each day and more than 35 percent restricted how much adults eat in favor of feeding children.
“Despite overall improvements in access for food, about one-quarter of the households continued to rely on poor-quality and -quantity diets,” Verhoosel said.
WFP Executive Director David Beasley stressed the need to maintain the lifeline of food aid to vulnerable families in Syria, noting that WFP helped nearly three million people in September.
Beasley is due to start an official visit to Syria during which he will visit the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta, the food distribution points and the WFP-supported schools in the town of Zamalka.
The Ministry of Agriculture of the Syrian Interim Government and the Assistance Coordination Unit had earlier discussed the development of the agricultural and livestock sectors in the liberated areas. The Unit announced that it would provide support to the General Directorate of Livestock and projects to establish statistics centers and a fodder factory following the success of a previous experience between those parties. It also said it would support the establishment of a food security platform. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)