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In 11 years of conflict, Syrians have never faced greater hunger.
The number of Syrians considered at risk of food insecurity has reached record levels. In Syria, the average cost of food has for months been at the highest ever recorded since monitoring began. This year 12.4 million are expected to be at risk of hunger
While active conflict has somewhat abated in the past year needs in Syria are outpacing families’ ability to cope due to rampant inflation and a struggling economy. Syria is facing multiple, interlinked crise. Hyperinflation means every day Syrians can afford less of what they need to survive. Syrians’ purchasing power is eroding while necessary goods – water, food, fuel, electricity – are being priced out of reach. Households are now on average spending 50% more than their income.
Families can no longer afford the fuel necessary to run generators that power their homes, transport, or water systems. Across Syria, many families have less then 4 hours of public electricity per day. Higher prices for fuel means transport and daily labour is more expensive. Farmers have less money to plan their fields yet higher costs to irrigate their crops and transport the harvests to market.
Environmental shocks including record low rainfall are also driving hunger. This year Syria faced the worst drought in 70 years, crippling the expected harvest with wheat production estimated to be less than half of last year’s outputs, and a quarter of the pre-crisis average.
The lack of rainfall, as well as the decimated water infrastructure throughout the country, means that growing capacity – and the costs for farmers to try and make a living – is intolerably high.
Action Against Hunger has been working in Syria since 2008. We work to reduce hunger and health risks among the most vulnerable communities in Syria through both emergency life-saving interventions and longer-term, sustainable resilience-building support. Last year we supported 1.3 people across Syria with support to strengthen access to safe water and sanitation, improve health and education facilities, and opportunities to earn an income and provide food for their families.
"14.6 million people require humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs"
Syrians are facing their greatest needs at a point when world attention and funding is declining. The world needs to continue to do better and support Syrians in overcoming mounting pressures.
With such needs rising, long-term early recovery and resilience-focused solutions are needed restore hope, dignity and self-reliance to Syrians. Longer-term, multi-year, and flexible funding can enable humanitarian actors to respond to both emergency needs and lay groundwork for sustainable solutions
This must include restoring infrastructure and increasing civilian access to basic services such as water networks, pipelines, irrigation networks and pumping stations as well as restoring and maintaining education and public health facilities. It requires supporting longer-term sustainable livelihoods and food production solutions that help people earn a living and afford more and higher quality food – to starve off malnutrition and reduce reliance on emergency aid such as food parcels. Doing so in a complementary and integrated way can do more to that support for Syrians is more sustainable, cost-efficient, and effective.
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