Hunger in a War Zone: The growing crisis behind the Syria conflict

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Syria's children at risk of malnutrition

Lack of access to food and soaring prices have left the children of Syria at risk of malnutrition, Save the Children warns today.

More than four million Syrians – over two million of them children – are unable to produce or buy enough food.

We have gathered testimony from residents trapped by fighting and enduring siege-like conditions, as well as from refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, that details the desperate struggle of families within Syria to feed their children.

Thousands are living under fire and can access only the bare minimum they need to survive. Reports show that one in 20 children in rural Damascus is already severely malnourished.

An explosion in food prices

In a hard-hitting report on the state of hunger in Syria, released today, Save the Children details how severe food shortages are being aggravated by an explosion in food prices. The cost of some of the most basic food items has increased by 100%.

The war has shattered Syria’s economy, and the United Nations estimates that close to seven million inhabitants have been plunged into poverty since fighting began.

Syria’s agriculture and infrastructure are also collapsing. Despite good rains, 2013 was the worst harvest since a major drought nearly 30 years ago.

“Too little, too late”

Save the Children Chief Executive Justin Forsyth said: “The world has done too little too late. The conflict has already left thousands of children dead and is now threatening their means of staying alive.

“Even if the world cannot agree on how to end the conflict, surely they can agree that aid should be able to reach every child in need in Syria.

“There is no room for delay or argument: Syria’s children must not be allowed to go hungry.”