WFP: Syria faces mass starvation or mass exodus without more aid
Syria faces the threat of mass starvation or a mass exodus unless more aid money is made available, according to the head of the UN World Food Programme.
Ahead of a donor conference in Brussels on Tuesday, David Beasley said that a million Syrians were severely food insecure, and some were already dying.
The war-torn country’s currency has crumbled, and food prices have soared.
“The whole world’s facing a crisis, unlike anything we have seen probably in our lifetimes. But frankly, what’s happening in Syria is unmatched. It is the worst of all storms coming together,” Mr. Beasley said.
The WFP’s executive director said immediate action was needed to halt further suffering and deaths among Syrians- 11 million of whom require aid and protection.
Mr. Beasley described Syria as “a political quagmire” and pleaded Western countries to overcome their fatigue with the long-running war.
He said world powers must permit aid to reach both the rebel-held areas and the regions controlled by the government.
Mr. Beasley also explained that desperate Syrians might have no choice but to try to flee to Europe again.
The UN and its partners have appealed for $3.8bn for humanitarian work inside Syria and another $6.04bn to help countries in the region hosting Syrian refugees. The appeals are currently 30% and 19% funded, respectively.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, warned that the coronavirus had had an immediate and devastating impact on the livelihoods of millions of Syrian refugees and their host countries, where there have been sharp economic downturns, and poverty has spiraled.
He also urged the international community to come together to sustain the support for Syrian refugees and for the countries in the region that have generously hosted them for years.
While conflicts in Syria have decreased overall, there are tensions and flare-ups of violence in some parts of the country, including a resurgence of Daesh-affiliated terrorist groups.
What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.