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Looming drought in Syria puts millions at risk

The World Food Program predicted a drought for Syria that would put 6.5 million lives at risk.

By Ed Adamczyk

UNITED NATIONS, April 8 (UPI) -- A predicted drought in Syria could affect the next harvest and put 6.5 million lives at risk, the World Food Program said in a report released Tuesday.

Syria was affected by a drought in 2008, which lasted until 2010. Food shortages and rising prices came prior to the civil war, which began in 2011.

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The potential of a looming drought in northwest Syria could lead to acute food shortages and requests for humanitarian aid, according to the “WFP Special Focus Syria.” Rainfall in the area has been only one-half inch since September, said WFP spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs, adding, “There is only one month left in the rainfall season that lasts until mid-May and with three quarters of the rainfall season gone, it is unlikely there will be a significant recovery in this agricultural season.”

The report also notes livestock will endure water shortages and lack of adequate grazing land.

A major drought could also lead to more displacement, United Nations refugee agency spokeswoman Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba said.

“We can expect more refugees to leave, if on top of the conflict, they feel their lives are in danger.”

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[Voice of America News]

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