New York: The World Food Program (WFP) said in a press release on Thursday that an additional 4.5 million Syrians have become food insecure over the past year, bringing the total number of people on the brink of hunger to a record 12.4 million.
“A record 12.4 million Syrians – nearly 60 per cent of the population – are now food insecure,” the release said. “In just over one year, an additional 4.5 million Syrians have become food insecure.”
The UN agency said that an economic crisis, job losses amid the pandemic and soaring food prices have added up to the suffering of Syrian people worn down by a decade of conflict.
“The situation has never been worse. After ten years of conflict, Syrian families have exhausted their savings as they face a spiralling economic crisis,” WFP Representative and Country Director in Syria Sean O’Brien said in the release.
In just over a year, the number of people who are severely food insecure – unable to survive without food assistance – has doubled to reach 1.3 million, the release said.
The agency warned that an additional 1.8 million more would become severely food insecure unless urgent action is taken. To ensure that aid continues to flow into Syria, the WFP requires an additional USD 375.3 million until July 2021.
The UN Office of the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs said earlier it will need a total of USD 4.2 billion to target 10.5 million in Syria with assistance this year.