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Thursday
Jan242013

UN Warns of Major Food Shortages in Syria

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The growing humanitarian crisis in Syria resulting from the two-year civil war now includes dramatic food shortages and steep price increases on everyday supplies.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned on Wednesday that Syria’s farming sector was now in "tatters" with wheat and barley, staples of the Syrian diet, in rapidly diminishing supply.

Having seen the devastation firsthand, FAO Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon said, "I was very saddened by the situation.  The mission was struck by the plight of the Syrian people."

Much of the warfare between government and rebel forces has taken place in Syria's northern agricultural belt near the major cities of Aleppo and Idlib.  With opposition fighters cutting off supply routes, city residents have been particularly susceptible to food shortages.

Meanwhile, the conflict has also jeopardized the livelihoods of many of the tens of millions of Syrians whose jobs are tied to agriculture industry.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio