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Bread prices soar as winter goods run out
Agence France Presse
A Syrian refugee carries bread and bottles of water during a winter storm in Zahle town, in the Bekaa Valley December 11, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
A Syrian refugee carries bread and bottles of water during a winter storm in Zahle town, in the Bekaa Valley December 11, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
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BEIRUT: The price of bread in Syria has soared by 500 percent since its 33-month conflict erupted, the International Rescue Committee said Monday, warning of dire consequences as winter takes hold.

The IRC also said that four out of five Syrians were now worried about food running out, while more than half of them were struggling for access to clean water.

“The price of bread has risen by up to 500 percent,” the IRC said in a statement issued as temperatures plummeted to below freezing in parts of Syria.

“Material goods are also in short supply,” the non-governmental organization said in a report based on its surveys of more than 500 communities across Syria. At $27, the cost of blankets is prohibitively high at around “93 percent of the average monthly income.”

The IRC also pointed to “severe shortages of basic medical items such as antibiotics, painkillers and gauze in eight governorates.”

The United Nations says more than 9.3 million Syrians are in need of aid.

“These findings show that starvation is now threatening large parts of the Syrian population,” IRC president David Miliband said.

“With polio on the loose, and a sub-zero winter already here, the people of Syria now face months of more death and despair. We are witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe that is receiving far too little attention and funding around the world,” he added.

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