Pauses In Syrian Fighting During Harvest Vital To Meet Country’s Food Needs
ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has called for humanitarian pauses in the fighting in Syria so farmers can safely harvest and transport crops within the country to reach all Syrians in need.
“With indications that the 2015 harvest in Syria may exceed the last two years’ harvests at a time of massive food insecurity and internal displacement, it is paramount that crops are not lost and that food stays within the country,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
“We must support unhindered and unrestricted food transport across frontlines; this will ensure food now available in one part of the country reaches Syrians wherever they are in the country,” she added. “Farmers need peace to harvest and to move their produce to markets. I am urging all sides to allow this to happen.”
“Without a humanitarian pause by all sides, providing unhindered access to Syrian food and opening up corridors for transport, people will still go hungry despite a good harvest, and prices for food will remain high,” Cousin said.
Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy for Syria who addressed a WFP Executive Board meeting in Rome on Monday, applauded the call.
“I strongly welcome and support the appeal by WFP. The Syrian people have shown incredible resilience and determination in going through this terrible conflict; they should be given a chance to make sure their own crops can reach their own people safely during this critical period,” said de Mistura.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
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