UK-based NGO Save the Children announced on Thursday that the number of malnourished children in northeast Syria has increased by 150 percent in the past six months, and poverty rates have increased by 90 percent.
According to the Save the Children report, at least 10,000 more children have faced malnutrition in the past six months.
Save the Children’s Sara Ali said, “Poverty and the inability to afford food are the main reasons families are giving for this increase.”
According to Beat Rohr, Interim Syria Response Office Director, the ongoing conflict in parts of Syria, that has led to worsening economic conditions, “has become the main driver of needs.”
Relief from humanitarian aid is also curtailed to the region. Since July 2020, aid deliveries have only been possible through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing on the Syria-Turkey border. Other border crossings were prevented due to successive Russian-Chinese vetoes.
This, in turn, exacerbates poverty and famine in North and East Syria, where approximately three million people live, including 150,000 refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in camps.
The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) has been calling on the UN Security Council since 2019 to reopen the al-Ya’rubiah border crossing so that humanitarian aid can be delivered to people in need.
Before the closure of Al-Ya’rubiyah 103 medical facilities were receiving aid from the northeastern Syria border crossing in 2020, according to a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Security Council.