Yarmouk residents transform the spaces between buildings into gardens that can produce vegetables
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Accused of using starvation as a weapon of war, the Syrian government continues to besiege areas across the country, forcing civilians to find new ways to make ends meet.The humanitarian situation in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk made headlines late last year when dozens died due to starvation, but while sporadic deliveries of food aid are made to the camp, the siege continues and most people have started growing their own food. At first, people learned how to plant vegetables from YouTube videos, and then passed on tips to others, said Ansar Hevi, an activist with the 15th Garden, a farmers solidarity network which supports Syrians by offering them practical advice and also material support.Seeds, for example, have been hard to procure in Yarmouk, as many seed companies have closed since the war began, and many farmers were forced to give up their seed stocks to the government, according to Hevi, so the 15th Garden has brought seeds in from abroad, which then had to be smuggled into the camp. While the U.N. occasionally delivers food baskets to the area, which they refer to as "food security," being able to grow one's own food is much more sustainable and offers "food sovereignty".
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