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Four million Syrians are unable to produce or buy enough food

05/07/2013 - 

If conflict continues, Syria's food prospects will be seriously at risk in 2014, joint FAO/WFP report finds.

Syria's food security situation has significantly deteriorated over the past year and domestic agricultural production will further decline over the next 12 months if the present conflict continues, according to a new report published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

"There is a limited window of opportunity to ensure crisis-affected families do not lose vital sources of food and income," the two UN organizations said.

FAO has issued an urgent appeal for $41.7 million to assist 768 000 people. So far, only $3.3 million or less than 10 percent has been received. The funds are needed for seeds, fertilizer and veterinary supplies as well as cash-for-work programmes. 

Support to the coming planting season will be critical. Funding must be secured by August in order to provide farmers with fertilizers and seeds to plant in October. Without such support, many will be unable to harvest wheat until mid-2015.

Since the beginning of this year, FAO has supported close to 70 000 people. Assistance provided includes animal feed, poultry packages, small ruminants, and seeds and tools. With available funding, FAO will be providing support to a further 216 000 people with similar assistance.

Working with partner organisations in Syria, WFP reached 2.5 million people with food assistance in June, is planning to feed 3 million people in July and is ramping up logistics and operational capacity to feed 4 million people by October. In addition, WFP is providing food assistance to nearly one million refugees sheltering in neighbouring countries.

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