Primarily affected by the lack of rainfall was the country’s northeast, which accounts for 75 percent of total wheat production in Syria. The 2011 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction notes that since the start of the drought, close to 75 percent of agriculture-dependent households in the northeast have suffered total crop failure. Prior to the drought, Syria’s agriculture sector accounted for 40 percent of the country’s workforce and 25 percent of gross domestic product. Some 2–3 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty by a combination of lack of crop income and the need to sell livestock at 60–70 percent below cost. Syria’s livestock herd has been decimated from 21 million to an estimated 14–16 million.
This calamity is the result of a number of factors. Climate change is joined by resource mismanagement, including the overexploitation of groundwater (due to subsidies for water-thirsty crops such as cotton and wheat), inefficient irrigation systems, and over-grazing.The drought has led to an exodus of hundreds of thousands of people from rural to urban areas. Syria’s cities were already under economic stress, in part because of the large-scale influx of refugees from Iraq after the U.S. invasion of 2003. Growing numbers of destitute people find themselves in intense competition for scarce jobs and access to resources. In an analysis in early 2012,
Francesco Femia and Caitlin Werrell write that “the role of disaffected rural communities in the Syrian opposition movement has been prominent compared to their equivalents in other ‘Arab Spring’ countries. Indeed, the rural farming town of Dara’a was the focal point for protests in the early stages of the opposition movement last year – a place that was especially hard hit by five years of drought and water scarcity, with little assistance from the al-Assad regime.
[ed notes:key points,the lack of rainfall ,and the most important point ….the Large influx of iraqi refugees hosted by Syrian govt created by u.s. invasion/occupation of Iraq exacerbated the problem and economic woes wich led to protests!!!Question:is it Assads fault there was unusual lack of rainfall?sure Assads economic policies can and should be scrutinized as well,but shouldnt he get credit and support for taking in massive numbers of displaced Iraqis(they wre given citizenship and free healthcare) who fled us destroyed Iraq?this report wont dig into these questions of course,because they dont support Assad,but one should question why the poor rural Syrians who were affected by the drougth dont take into consideration the effects of us policy in region and the burdens it placed on the Syrian state and themselves as a result.Should Assad not have taken them in?was that not the humanitarian thing to do?
Considering the fsa and external terrorist states sponsoring them and other terror rebel factions wich are destroying Syria with the support of us govt,its ironic to me,that these people themselves who obviously felt no solidarity with Iraqi refugees in turn themselves will become refugees…p.s. i do not endorse the people behind the report ,site or writer btw..
Posted by Nysoulcontrolla aka Ali