Drought now hammering war-torn Syria
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/30/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
On top of all the trials and tribulations facing war-torn Syria, a worsening drought there now has "dire humanitarian consequences for millions." The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement warns that limited winter rain and high summer temperatures has affected agriculture and food production across the nation. Even worse, a compromised infrastructure has left the population especially vulnerable after three years of civil war.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement warns that limited winter rain and high summer temperatures has affected agriculture and food production across the nation.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Syria is already facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, and this summer millions of families are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain clean water," Dr. Abdulrahman Attar, president of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent says.
According to a report published by UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, sections of Syria are suffering their lowest levels of rainfall in over fifty years. In the first half of 2014, most parts of the country received only half the average rainfall for the time of year. Even worse, national wheat production in 2014 is expected to be 52 percent lower than in 2013.
Ever since civil war broke out between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebel groups in 2011, over 170,000 Syrians have been killed. Three million Syrian refugees have fled their native land and have taken refuge in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Around 6.5 million Syrians remain displaced and homeless internally.
Syrian refugees has placed serious pressure on water and sanitation services in neighboring countries. Drought relief efforts are underfunded across the region.
The ongoing bloodbath within Syria has caused severe damage to sewage systems, pumping stations and other water infrastructure. Adding to the misery are frequent power cuts, fuel shortages and limited maintenance of water works. This has been especially true in areas most affected by fighting, such as Homs and Aleppo.
The ancient city of Aleppo was without any humanitarian aid for ten months due to conflict, and the situation continues to deteriorate.
Displaced people can add to the strain faced by host communities, as tensions are heightened by competition over limited resources such as water and food.
"We urge all parties to the conflict to ensure the provision of clean water for all Syrians at all times, and call on the international community to rapidly increase its support for the essential water and sanitation programs of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Syria," Attar said.
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