Soaring food prices in Syria concern UN, humanitarian partners
UNITED NATIONS, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Humanitarian colleagues of the United Nations are increasingly concerned about the effect of rapidly rising food prices on more than 11 million Syrians needing aid, a UN spokesman said on Wednesday.
"Food prices have more than doubled in the last year, rising by 133 percent across the country," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Humanitarian organizations, including the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), are addressing needs at a massive scale, Haq said. From January to March, the UN and partner organizations have delivered assistance to an average of 6.2 million people each month, including lifesaving food for 4.5 million people across Syria's 14 governorates.
Food prices have soared in the past few weeks with the informal exchange rate rapidly deteriorating.
In May, the cost of a standard food basket increased on average by 11 percent compared to April, a number which had already increased by 16 percent from March.
The WFP reported that 9.3 million people across Syria are food insecure, an increase of 1.4 million people in just the last six months. Another 2.2 million more people risk becoming food insecure.
The United Nations lists Syria's population at about 17 million people.
Nine years of conflict have affected the lives and nutritional status of some of the country's most vulnerable people, including women and children. Enditem