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Qatar Charity builds mill in Syria as food insecurity increases

A Syrian women walk with food aid at a refugee camp in Syria on 21 December 2016 [Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency]
A Syrian women walk with food aid at a refugee camp in Syria on 21 December 2016 [Mamun Ebu Omer/Anadolu Agency]

Qatar Charity has established a grain silo and flour mill in the north-west Syrian city of Marea, in efforts to provide basic food essentials for around 75,000 people. The project has been initiated in the face of increasing food insecurity in the area, which is controlled by the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition.

In partnership with the Turkey branch of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the mill was installed by a team of engineers and experts before being tested to judge its capability. It managed to open by producing 50 tons of flour per day.

This flour is then stored and distributed to local bakeries. The production capability of the mill is reportedly sufficient for supplying flour to the whole of Marea and some of the surrounding areas. According to the charity, its capacity could expand with effective support.

READ: Winter is coming, but internally displaced persons in Syria are not prepared

The silo and mill are set to improve food security for locals in the area at a time when wheat has been in short supply within both regime- and opposition-controlled areas of Syria. Civilians in the former have been reported to suffer from bread shortages. Controversial images appeared last week of Syrians lining up in cages to collect bread in the capital Damascus.

The shortage has prompted the authorities to import large supplies of lower-quality wheat from Russia. Last week, Syria's Prime Minister announced that there is only enough wheat to last for less than two months.

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