Damascus, 2 June 2022 (TDI): Sixty percent of Syrians face food insecurity challenges. 12.4 million people depend on bread from public bakeries to meet their daily calorific value. The United Nations Development Programme published these statistics in a recent report.

According to the report by UNDP, Syria has reached the lowest point in its socio-economic spiral. The need for Humanitarian assistance is soaring, seeking immediate relief actions by relevant stakeholders.

Currently, Syria is struggling through an acute food security crisis. Most vulnerable communities lack access to affordable daily bread in the Country.

Until now, UNDP has been in close collaboration with stakeholders on the Syrian Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) framework to ensure food provision to the vulnerable fractions of the society to combat the food insecurity crisis.

Meanwhile, UNDP and Humanitarian partners have launched a series of integrated interventions to strengthen the food value chains. Due to droughts and internal conflicts amidst war. Earlier, war, conflicts, and prevailing droughts disrupted the wheat-to-bread value chain.

The humanitarian assistance includes supporting farming communities, rehabilitating irrigation systems, and restoring public bakeries across the Country.

Food insecurity
A Syrian boy holding bread from a local bakery
HRP intervention for food security

In addition, the HRP interventions also encompass the rehabilitation of the Country’s sole public yeast factory. Before the onset of the war, Syria had four public-owned yeast factories to meet the growing bread demand. These factories provided 113 tonnes of yeast to bakers throughout the Country every day.

Furthermore, only the Homs factory is left, operating at a much-reduced scale. 6-10 tonnes of yeast which constitute 5-9 percent of the pre-crisis production, are produced and distributed to public bakeries in  Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Tartous, and Lattakia governorates.

Consequently, the government has to import yeast at high prices due to the devaluation of the Syrian currency and soaring food and fuel costs.

According to UNDP, increasing yeast production inHom’ss factory is a high intervention to scale-up access to affordable bread. For now, this program will target one-third of the country’s food insecure population.

Cost of rehabilitation

Meanwhile, UNDP requires $1 million for the rehabilitation process. The technical assessment of the project shared these outcomes. The financial grant is needed for specialized rehabilitation of yeast processing (80 percent) and the rest  (20 percent) for hygiene standards, equipment, and factory safety. After completion, the factory will produce 24 tonnes of yeast daily. This initiative can ensure bread provision for additional three million vulnerable Syrians.

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