Syrian opposition official warns of looming famine as wheat production drops

Syrian opposition official warns of looming famine as wheat production drops
2 min read
13 July, 2022
A Syrian opposition official has warned of new levels of food insecurity in the country as production and import of the staple food drop
Wheat production in Syria has tumbled since civil war broke out in 2011 [AFP via Getty]

A Syrian opposition official has warned of new levels of food insecurity in Syria after a decline in domestic wheat productionThe New Arab's Arabic-language sister service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported Wednesday.

Signs of a famine are beginning to appear in Syria "from now", Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported Hassan Muhammad, an agriculture official in the Syrian opposition government as saying.

Syrian agriculture minister Mohammed Hassan Qatana told Russian media on Sunday that Syria was expecting a decrease in wheat production this year because a lack of rain reduced yield.

Wheat production in Syria has tumbled since civil war broke out in 2011.

An estimated 60 percent of the Syrian population are food insecure, the UN said in May.

Syria's wheat production reached its lowest level in 50 years in 2021 due to a combination of drought, increasing costs, and worsening economic conditions, according to the UN.

Threat of an all-out famine grew after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, putting Syria's what supply at grave risk.

Syria is struggling to import wheat because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February. In response to its biggest international ally's invasion, Damascus said it would ration wheat.

Meanwhile, some of the wheat confiscated from Ukrainian farmers by Russian troops occupying the east of Ukraine has been sold to Syria, multiple investigations have found.