Save the Children has issued a report documenting “Hunger in a War Zone“.
Using interviews to illustrate the raw statistics, the charity says inflation and restrictions on movement and aid have prevented Syrian families from obtaining sufficient food. Agricultural production has been damaged by the conflict — the harvest in 2013 was the worst for almost 30 years. In some areas, almost half the bakeries are closed.
As a result, children are eating fruit, nuts and leaves and drinking dirty water to survive, Save the Children claims.
One mother said:
We’ve never experienced a food shortage like this. We would feed the children anything we could find –– leaves, nuts, fruits –– just to fill up their bellies. I had to give my whole family dirty water to drink. Because of that they got sick and suffered from terrible diarrhoea; they became dehydrated and weak.
When we left our village and were on the road there was no food or water at all. I fed my children raw potatoes that we found. There was no water to cook them in, and we couldn’t light a fire because we might be seen and shot or shelled.
ViDEO: A malnourished baby, “Rana”, in Moadamiyyat Ash Sham, near Damascus:
More than 2 million Syrians are refugees and four million have been internally displaced. At least 6.8 million Syrians — out of a pre-war population of 22 million — require urgent humanitarian assistance. Half of them are children.
Save the Children warns that winter could add to the crisis with freezing temperatures and storms.