"The situation has now got really severe; we are talking about desert, rather than farming land," said Abdel Qader Abu Awad, MENA (Middle East and North Africa) disaster management coordinator for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). "People cannot live in this environment any more and their final coping mechanism is migration."
Syria's drought is now in its second year, affecting farming regions in the north and east of the country, especially the northeastern governorate of Hassakeh. Wheat production is just 55 percent of its usual output and barley is seriously affected, according to the UN's drought response plan, drawn up following two recent multi-agency missions.
Blamed on a combination of climate change, man-made desertification and lack of irrigation, up to 60 percent of Syria's land and 1.3 million people (of a population of 22 million) are affected, according to the UN. Just over 800,000 people have lost their entire livelihood, according to the UN and IFRC." (Thanks Bessma)