350,000 euros for Syrian farmers
While the war was raging in Syria, the local wheat farmers also had to deal with an abnormal drought in 2018. To guarantee food security, Belgium, together with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), supports the farmers affected.
Belgium donates 350,000 euros through a Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA). In this way, the FAO aims to improve the food security of approximately 11,100 people.
More specifically, the FAO hopes to increase wheat production by teaching farmers new agricultural practices and by distributing quality seed. The latter is particularly important. For the planting season, which took place in November and December 2018, the lack of good quality seeds was a major concern. Many farmers use seed that produces only a small harvest.
In Syria, before the conflict erupted, there existed an extensive irrigation system and the country produced approximately 4 million tons of wheat. Since 2011, this figure has dropped sharply. Especially the harvest year 2017/18 was disappointing, because of an abnormally dry period. It was the worst season in more than 20 years. Domestic wheat production was estimated at 1.2 million tons in 2018, which is lower than the year before and much lower than before the crisis.
During its mandate at the United Nations Security Council, our country will continue to support humanitarian access in Syria and the full respect of international humanitarian law.