They sell oil and buy rice .. the aid basket goes down to Daraa

Daraa – Halim Muhamed

After waiting for two months, Hiyam, 33, was surprised by the reduction in the contents of the food basket offered by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in the southern Syrian province of Daraa. Despite the long delivery time, the basket eases the burden of buying some basic foods, such as oil, sugar and flour.

The Red Crescent in Daraa has reduced the food basket components offered by the World Food Program (WFP) in late March, which are distributed in the province within a period of two to three months.

The amount of sugar dispersed was reduced from five kilograms to one kilogram, and rice from ten kilograms to five, and chickpeas were excluded from the ingredients of the food basket that was distributed in the cities of Tafas and Daraa Al-Balad.

Hiam, who has reserved her full name for security reasons and is a woman who maintains a family of five, stated that the previous distribution of the food basket witnessed a decrease in the amount of sugar split and that the rice comes in the quality of weak. , which forces him to replace other types of it after selling it and paying the financial differences.To buy rice from the domestic market.

Hayam’s reason for replacing the rice in the basket, according to what he told Enab Baladi, is that it is “of poor quality, which is difficult to serve as the main meal at the table”.

The importance of materials in the food basket, according to Hajami, lies in oil, flour and sugar and if these ingredients are reduced, the basket becomes invalid, especially after the increase in the price of frying oil.

Um Musa, a 50-year-old woman from the villages of the Yarmouk Basin, told Enab Baladi, “We moved the rice to the basket, but after its prices went up in the market, we went back to cooking with it, and why was it bad. ”

“Um Musa” goes to the sale of three liters of red oil allocations and buys sugar instead, as it reduces its quantities from food package ingredients.

The price of a kilogram of sugar in the domestic market reached about 3500 pounds, while a kilogram of chickpeas at 6000 pounds.

The price of rice varies according to its quality, as the price of a kilogram is not less than 3500 Syrian pounds and can reach 12000 Syrian pounds (one dollar is approximately 3800 Syrian pounds).

Rice is of economic and social importance in Daraa, where rural communities depend mainly on it for their daily food and is one of the most consumed materials in the province.

Reduce the amount of oil

Residents of the cities of Tel Shehab, Zayzoun, Al-Ajami and Nahj were surprised by a new reduction in food basket components, including blush oil. Red Crescent delegates distributed four liters of blush oil, instead of sixth, and the amount of sugar increased from one kilogram to three.

The reasons for the reduction of the components of the food basket are not known, according to what a member of the local committee said in an interview with Enab Baladi, who asked the staff of the organization “Red Crescent” about the reason for the reduction, but their answer. was “We do not know.”

Frying oil is an essential ingredient in the food basket and without becoming invalid, according to complaints from some residents about Enab Baladi, who add that reducing two liters of frying oil means reducing the value by 30 thousand pounds. so the population will have to buy the shortage from the domestic market.

“With a certain part for a jar”

Daraa residents are afraid to continue to reduce food ingredients in the basket, especially staple items like frying oil and flour.

Each relief ration contains 15 kilograms of “Zero” type flour and six liters of oil for frying, in addition to sugar, rice and salt.

The price of a liter of oil for frying has reached 15 thousand pounds, while a kilogram of flour has reached 2500 pounds.

There are those who wait for the aid basket to get oil, flour and sugar and there are those who sell half the quantity to provide the necessities of life and despite the long periods between sending the food baskets, they are of great importance to the population .

The distribution of parcels is overseen by local committees, which take them from the Red Crescent centers and send them to each beneficiary’s home, provided he undertakes to pay the transport fees, which amount to 3000 3,000 per share.

Before Syrian regime forces took control of the southern region in 2018, aid organizations entered each village separately and oversaw free distribution, and aid was distributed regularly every month, according to residents during a survey conducted by Enab Baladi . , and is richer in ingredients.food.

For the first time, the Security Council authorized a cross-border aid operation for Syria in 2014 at four points, namely the Ramtha border crossing with Jordan, the Al Yaroubiya border crossing with Iraq and the Bab al-Salama border crossing. and “Bab al-Hawa” with Turkey.

The aid continued through four points until 2020, after which it was limited to the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, following a Russian-Chinese opposition to cross-border aid.

First place in food insecurity

UN Assistant Secretary-General Joyce Msuya said last February, as part of her conference at the UN Security Council, that Syrians need humanitarian aid now more than ever.

Msuya added that 14.6 million Syrians will depend on aid this year, a 9% increase during 2021 and a 32% increase during 2020, according to the official United Nations website.

Syria ranks first among the ten most unsafe food countries in the world, and 12 million Syrians suffer from limited and unsafe access to food.

She also explained that families now spend on average 50% more than they earn, which means borrowing money to make a living, and this has led to “unbearable choices”, including removing children, especially girls, from school. and raising children. marriage.

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