Food insecurity in Syria has reached historic highs, amid socioeconomic downturns, while humanitarian needs surge to peak. UNDP and other humanitarian partners are now ramping up their response, focusing on the most basic need – affordable, everyday bread.
Strengthen the chain of wheat into bread
With an estimated 60% of Syrians food insecure, UNDP is working on Humanitarian response plan in Syria (HRP) framework to support the most vulnerable.
About 12.4 million people depend on bread from public bakeries to meet their daily calorie minimum. Through the HRP, UNDP and its partners have implemented a series of integrated humanitarian interventions to strengthen the wheat-to-bread value chain, which has been disrupted by years of conflict and drought.
This includes supporting farming communities, renovating irrigation systems and restoring public bakeries around the country.
Bake bread, save lives
It also includes the restoration of the country’s only public yeast factory, located in Homs province.
Before the crisis, Syria had four state-owned factories that supplied about 113 tons of yeast to an extensive network of public bakeries around the country on a daily basis.
Today, only the Homs factory remains, and it is operating on a much smaller scale.
Only 6 to 10 tons of yeast – 5 – 9% of pre-crisis production – are produced and distributed each day to public bakeries in the provinces of Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Tartous and Lattakia.
And there are no major private yeast producers in the country.
This means importing yeast at great cost – due to the severe depreciation of the Syrian pound – driving up the price of bread as vulnerable households can only cover 50% of the basic cost of food. surname.
The increase in yeast production in Homs represents “a high-impact intervention to rapidly and dramatically scale access” to affordable bread. in these regions, where about a third of the country’s food-insecure population is the target of a humanitarian response, according to UNDP.
Addiction treatment costs
Based on UNDP technical assessments, the restoration of the Homs yeast factory will cost approximately USD 1 million, divided between the restoration of yeast processing technology (80%) and packaging equipment, standards plant safety and hygiene (20%).
After finishing, The plant is expected to produce 24 tons of yeast per day for distribution to public bakeries in those areas and to enable an additional three million vulnerable Syrians to afford daily bread. their.
© WFP / Hussam Al Saleh
Prioritize the poor
The overarching goal of UNDP in Syria is to provide much-needed early recovery support to populations affected by the crisis.
Access to essential humanitarian services, such as health, education, safe water and affordable food, is critical to the resilience of vulnerable Syrian communities.
UNDP prioritizes support based on independent and thorough needs assessments, such as those presented in the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and UNDP-specific industry studies and assessments .
The agency said it was “committed to meeting needs in a principled manner that promotes fundamental human rights and reduces risk in its operations to ensure that needs-based support is demand, free from interference and in accordance with humanitarian principles”.