Syrians need food aid as crisis wrecks harvest

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Aug. 2, 2012, 12:21 p.m. | World — by Reuters

In this citizen journalism image provided by Shaam News Network SNN, taken on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, Syrians chant slogans during a demonstration in Damascus, Syria. Syrian opposition activists say regime forces have swept through neighborhoods south of the capital Damascus in a deadly military operation that has inflicted casualties.
© AP


GENEVA, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Up to 3 million Syrians are likely to need food, crop and livestock aid in the next 12 months as the conflict has prevented farmers harvesting crops, the World Food Programme and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said on Thursday, Aug.2.

Citing a joint assessment carried out by the United Nations and the Syrian government, they said the Syrian agricultural sector had lost $1.8 billion this year, with wheat and barley badly affected.

The report, which was dated June 2012, said harvesting of wheat had been delayed in Deraa, rural Damascus, Homs and Hama due to lack of labour and reluctance of owners to rent out farm machinery due to insecurity.

"There is thus a great risk of losing part of the crop if there is further delay," it said.

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