"Looming" drought threatens food security in Syria: WFP

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Drought threatens to worsen an already fragile food situation in north-western Syria, according to a report by the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

The agency, which provided food to a record 4 million people last month, fears that if rainfall does not increase, drought could put the lives of millions of people at risk.

According to WFP, during the rainy season, which is between September and April, there has been less than half of the average amount of rain.

Elisabeth Byrs is WFP spokesperson in Geneva.

"WFP is extremely concerned that up to 6.5 million people inside Syria might be severely food insecure and will require external food assistance to survive. We are also very concerned about the impact of a looming drought hitting the northwest of the country mainly Aleppo, Idleb, Hama and with rainfall less than half of the long-term average and potential major impact on the next cereal harvest." (29")

The WFP report, published on Tuesday, outlines how dry conditions, which are also affecting the wider Middle East region, will compound the impact of the civil war on the agricultural sector.

It says wheat production, which is expected to be between 1.7 and 2 million metric tons, would be a record low and would also necessitate increased imports of the crop.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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