February 4, 2016

Syria's Hunger Pangs

This post originally appeared on US News & World Report

By Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture; Rick Leach, President and CEO, World Food Program USA; and Hunter Biden, Partner, Rosemont Seneca Partners

There's a mother from Syria who becomes physically ill every time she receives a text message from the U.N. World Food Programme. She says each message prompts renewed dread that her family's rations will be cut – again. Like many of her fellow refugees in the Zaatari refugee camp, this woman relies on humanitarian assistance to get by. But it's barely enough.

Throughout our trip to Lebanon and Jordan last week, we encountered similar tales of despair. After more than five years of living in camps, makeshift settlements, dilapidated apartments, rundown shacks, abandoned factories and vacant schools across the region, many Syrian refugees are losing hope. These families might not be dying, but they are barely living.

Over the last week, we've seen the human face of war: The innocent who have suffered because they're caught in the crossfire, their homes destroyed. We heard stories of loved ones who are dead, missing or injured, we spoke to parents whose eyes teared up when asked about their futures, whose children do not attend school because there is no room or they need to work. 

Continue reading on U.S. News & World Report>


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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