Syria faces triple threat: coronavirus, food crisis, and Islamic State

By May 7, 2020

Syria (MNN) — The pandemic is making life in Syria even more difficult. Syrians can’t get the essentials they need. Plus, the Islamic State is launching a new wave of terror. More about that here.

A few weeks ago, the Syrian government issued a nationwide lockdown. Nuna from Triumphant Mercy Lebanon tells MNN, “Every city is blocked so they can’t even go from a city to a city; the roads are blocked.”

According to Human Rights Watch, the current travel restrictions mean aid workers can’t reach people who need help in northern Syria. Plus, food prices have reached an all-time high; the costs of daily essentials more than doubled in the past 12 months.

(Photo by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay)

“People are just bringing food with trucks and these people who are selling food, they’re putting the prices they want so people can’t afford the bread,” Nuna says.

Here’s how you can pray for Syria.

Fear leads to desperation

Syria had plenty of crises before the pandemic hit. Nine years of war have completely destroyed Syria’s infrastructure and social services, resulting in a massive humanitarian crisis; 80-percent of Syrians live in poverty, Asharq Al-Awsat reports.

Life isn’t much better for those who leave. Over a million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon, where “you have the army locking [refugee] camps and just not allowing people to get out of camp or get into the camp,” Nuna says. Officials put strict orders in place because social distancing isn’t possible in the refugee camps, she explains.

“They’re trying to keep the Syrian camps on lockdown so it means people are not working. It means no income, and it means no food.”

So far, Syrian refugees have managed to eke out an existence in host countries like Lebanon. Some refugees find odd jobs wherever they can to provide for their families. Others partner with aid agencies like TM Lebanon to improve life in the camps. They’ve survived multiple challenges and crises, but this latest one is erasing any hope they have left. Restrictions are starting to ease in Lebanon, but it doesn’t fix bigger problems.

How to help

Along with praying for Syria, intercede for Syrian refugees. Despair is at an all-time high.

(Graphic courtesy of e3 Partners)

“They don’t have the option to say, ‘Now I can go back to Syria because I can’t do anything here [in Lebanon]; I will go back [to Syria].’ The borders are closed so that’s not even an option,” Nuna explains.

Syria may look utterly hopeless, but God is still on the move.

Click here to read stories of hope, and pray for Syria’s next generation. Ask God to intercede and protect them so they can build a new Syria from the ashes of war.  Read our full coronavirus coverage here.



Header image is a stock photo by Linus Schütz from Pixabay.

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