Jun 27, 2010

Drought over but crops still failing

Deir ez-Zur
Ar Raqqah
Olive groves in Western-Syria. Photo: High Contrast
Olive groves in Western-Syria. Photo: High Contrast

More rain has signalled the end of three years of a devastating drought in Syria's north-eastern region but it is not falling consistently enough to benefit this year’s harvests, UN agencies have warned. “There is no longer drought because the overall levels of rainfall have been acceptable,” Abdulla Tahir Bin Yehia, head of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Syria, said. “But abnormal rain patterns have remained. We describe the current situation as crop failure"... According to government and UN estimates, 1.3 million people have been affected by drought over the past three years, 95 percent of whom are from the governorates of al-Hassake, Dayr al-Zawr and al-Raqqa