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Archive for September 11th, 2010

Drought Driving Syria to Collapse

Posted by feww on September 11, 2010

Syria’s drought pushing 3 million people into “extreme poverty”—UN Senior Rep

Syria has experienced 4 consecutive droughts since 2006, with the 2007-2008 causing the most  devastation.

Download large image (4 MB, JPEG) –  Image acquired April 30, 2008.  Source: NASA E/O.

At least 1.3 million people have been affected by the 4-year drought, about 1 million of whom have had their livelihoods destroyed, Olivier de Schutter, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said.

“The losses from these repeated droughts have been significant for the population in the northeastern part of the country, particularly in Al-Hasakeh, Deir Ezzor and Al-Raqqa.” He said.

“Small-scale farmers have been worst affected. Many farmers have not been able to cultivate enough food or earn enough money to feed their families. Herders have also lost 80-85 percent of their livestock since 2005, according to UN figures.” A report said.

The drought is also threatening food security as demand for wheat reached 3.8 million tons, with the yield lagging behind by about 500,000 tons, forcing the government to import the shortfall.

“Thousands have left northeastern areas and live in informal settlements or camps close to Damascus. Experts warn, off the record, that the true figure of those living in ‘extreme poverty’ could be higher than the 2-3 million estimate.” UN OCHA reported.

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