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Addressing Malnutrition in Syria During Difficult Times: The World Food Program


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The United Nations World Food Program has warned of high rates of malnutrition and hunger in Syria, where more than half of the country’s population lacks food after 12 years of conflict, economic challenges and earthquakes that occurred last month.

“The situation is worse than ever in Syria,” UN Middle East director Corinne Fleischer told Reuters on Wednesday.

A World Food Program report stated that about 55% of Syria’s population of about 12.1 million people suffer from food insecurity and another 2.9 million are at risk of slipping into hunger.

Data shows that malnutrition is on the rise and rates of maternal stunting and malnutrition are at unprecedented levels.

“We are very concerned that hunger is on the rise sharply in Syria,” Fleischer said.

The two earthquakes last February, which killed at least 53,000 people across Syria and Turkey, came on top of the social and economic hardships stemming from 12 years of war and the weakening of the Syrian pound.

Aid is currently entering northwest Syria through three border crossings with Turkey.

“What we need is the opening of the internal crossing points. We are still negotiating this with the local authorities on the ground,” Fleischer said.

The agency said the WFP would have to significantly cut the number of people it helps from July if more donor funding is not provided.

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