Three quarters of the population do not have regular access to food.
The supply situation in Syria has never been so dramatic: three quarters of the population do not have regular access to food. To make matters worse, food prices have rocketed by more than 50% in the last six months compared to the same period last year. The reasons for this are the ongoing nationwide shortage of fuel, one of the worst droughts for many decades and, above all, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The effects of this war pose a huge threat to global food security. Germany is engaged in the fight against hunger and supports the World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria. The WFP is getting life-saving food aid to millions of people at risk and distributing food such as rice, peas, wheat and oil.
Cross-border humanitarian assistance remains crucial
The humanitarian situation in Idlib province in the north-west of the country is especially alarming: the United Nations estimates that more than four million people are in need of help in that region. At present, almost all relief goods have to be delivered from across the border in Turkey. A renewed extension of Security Council Resolution 2585 in July 2022 is absolutely vital to safeguard this supply.
In north-east Syria, too, the humanitarian situation is very difficult, especially in the camps. Around 600,000 internally displaced persons are struggling to survive there. Some 200,000 COVID-19 cases and around 7000 deaths have been confirmed. There is very limited access to healthcare throughout Syria: just under half of all healthcare facilities have been partially or completely destroyed, while more than 50% of medical personnel have left the country.
Germany has already paid 22.5 million euro into the UN fund for cross-border humanitarian assistance in Syria in 2022. This makes it possible to give local Syrian NGOs in particular the means to act quickly and flexibly to ensure the survival of the Syrian population.
Germany stands alongside the people in Syria
Germany is one of the leading donor states in providing assistance for people in need in Syria and neighbouring countries.
In concrete terms, the Federal Foreign Office, for example, has made available funding for projects run by the organisation Arche noVa, which looks after especially vulnerable people. Arche noVa is also active in Idlib. The distribution of seeds and the construction of traditional bakeries there has helped people to secure basic foodstuffs on their own. The construction of safe and gender-sensitive latrines and emergency accommodation as well as the provision of fuel and winter clothing for children have improved living conditions. Solar-powered lighting have made access ways safer. In particular, women, the elderly, people with disabilities and children have more protection now than before. Since 2019, the Federal Foreign Office has made available around 10.2 million euro for Arche noVa projects.
However, humanitarian assistance can only address the consequences of the conflict in Syria, not its causes. Germany is therefore continuing to lend its support to the efforts of UN Special Envoy Pedersen with respect to a political process to resolve the conflict.