The ongoing 2½-year political disaster in Syria has expanded to include food crisis, affecting children who are now on the verge of malnutrition.
Apart from innocently getting caught in the fighting in Syria, one in every 20 children, or specifically more than two million youngsters are now at risk of malnutrition in the war-torn country, according to aid agency Save the Children.
The continued in-fighting has resulted to the inevitable for the people of Syria - collapse in food production, rising prices of commodities as well as inaccessibility for some to food.
"The price of food doubled in my village and we couldn't afford to eat at all. Milk, bread, everything - doubled," Jinan, mother of a three-year-old, told aid workers. "The children became very hungry all the time and with no nutrients, they also became sick."
"Because of a lack of food my children didn't grow as they should. They started losing weight and it was all we could do to keep them alive," Maryam, a mother of two, said.
In some areas, food may be available but people can't get anywhere near it "because of a checkpoint or a sniper," a doctor named Omar told Reuters.
"Despite good rains, 2013 was the worst harvest since a major drought nearly 30 years ago," Save the Children said in its report. This as the area east of Aleppo, which is considered the country's agricultural stronghold, cannot push through with its farming activities due to the sieges and urban warfare.
Video Source: Youtube/ Dmitri Volkov
"The world has done too little too late. The children of Syria have been shot, shelled and traumatised by the horror of war. The conflict has already left thousands of children dead and is now threatening their means of staying alive," Justin Forsyth, the charity's chief executive, said.
"That some children are going to bed trapped amid fighting - terrified, alone, vulnerable - and with empty stomachs ought to be a stain on all our consciences."
"Even if the world cannot agree on how to end the conflict surely they can agree that aid should be able to reach every child in need in Syria. There is no room for delay or argument: Syria's children must not be allowed to go hungry."
Syria today is no place for a child, Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, wrote in a comment published in The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Until recently a food exporter, now 4 million Syrians - half of them children - are in need of emergency food assistance. As the destruction continues, this number will grow."
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