Drought News

Since the earthquake devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 06, government-held areas have witnessed a 30-percent increase in the price of food and other essential commodities, further burdening ordinary Syrians reeling from the natural disaster, deteriorating living conditions, and an acute economic crisis. Meanwhile, the Syrian government has failed to respond adequately, sparking widespread criticism.
As the cholera endemic continues unabated, the Ministry of Health recently received two million cholera vaccine doses – the first to reach the country since the outbreak was declared in September.
Wheat and barley production has declined significantly across all of Syria for the second year in a row due to climate change, low water levels in the Euphrates River, and production input shortages, according to official data. This season's wheat production is 75 percent lower than pre-crisis volumes.
As cholera cases rise and water supplies dwindle, the Syrian government recently began operating a new water desalination plant in the Hassakeh governorate in an effort to provide potable water to residents. The plants are only meant to be used in cases of emergency, i.e. in a situation of a dramatic shortage in water supplies, likely to preserve underground water reserves. So far, the government has only activated fifteen out of the twenty plants.
In an effort to ease the fallout of sanctions in non-government territories and stabilise areas liberated from the Islamic State, the U.S. administration has issued a general licence authorising economic activities, including foreign investments, in non-regime held areas of Northwest and Northeast Syria.
Amid an acute economic crisis, the prices of commodities – including cereals, key food items, oil products, and COVID-19-related items – have soared last year compared with 2020, according to the World Food Programme’s Market Price Watch Bulletin for Syria. Despite the fact that the government has increased public sector salaries, the purchasing power of Syrians is nonetheless unable to keep pace with the rising cost of living.