Syria mVAM Bulletin #10: January 2017 - Food Access is Severely Limited in Deir-Ez-Zor City and Madaya as the Conflict Intensifies



  • Food security deteriorated in Deir-ez-Zor and Madaya following an escalation of the conflict and restricted market accessibility.

  • Poor food consumption increased among IDPs in January.

  • Households in Aleppo city and in hard-to-reach parts of rural Damascus and southern areas are relying more heavily on food assistance.


A major assault was launched on Deir-ez-Zor on 14 January, with attacks on several fronts and intense fighting. The offensive has separated the two eastern neighbourhoods from the western neighbourhoods, where the bulk of the population lives. As a result, markets are not easily accessible. This escalation, together with the already dire economic situation, has further reduced food security for the majority of the trapped population. Deir-ez-Zor has been under siege since 2014. WFP-led air drops over Deir-ez-Zor city have been temporarily suspended due to intense fighting in and around the landing zone and in parts of the city where aid distributions take place.

The month-long offensive in Wadi Barada valley (Rif Dimashq governorate) ended when a ceasefire was reached on 28 January. Work has begun to repair the water supply to 5.5 million people in Damascus, which has been disrupted since 22 December. According to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, up to 17,500 people have been displaced from Wadi Barada to neighbouring villages since the beginning of the fighting.

The humanitarian situation is deteriorating in Ash Shajara (in Dar’a) and in many locations in rural Damascus that saw a significant escalation of conflict during January. In Madaya and Az-Zabadani, intense fighting brought the complete closure of markets and schools. Key informants reported that the small remaining quantities of food assistance were the only source of food for most of the population for many days.