Is Raqqa going to face an Upcoming Famine?

Abdalaziz Alhamza “RBSS”

It is obvious now that Raqqa is going to face a situation of starvation due to the siege held by the attaching troops along with the low rainfall rate this year comparing to other years.
In Raqqa now live near four hundred thousand people along with some Iraqi refugees. The number of refugees is increasing day by day not to mention thousands of internally displaced people coming from Palmyra.

Bad agricultural situation

Raqqa was one of the main wheat producers in Syria but in the past five years the producing rate went down due to successive droughts and the very high prices of fertilizers and fuel.
After liberation the city in 2013, the agricultural situation did not get any better, in addition to the daily shelling there was no real market like before. The wheat stored in Raqqa’s silos was heavily used; in 2013 it was 460 thousand tons according to the Department Of Agricultural. Due to the inability of Al Rashid mill to deal with this huge amount, what was moved toward Aleppo’s mills, which were under the free Syrian Army control.
In 2014 ISIS controlled over the city, they allowed to export wheat to regime areas and imposed agricultural Zakat. In 2015 they managed to establish several mills to cover the needs but when the SDF forces advanced in Northern Raqqa large agricultural lands were burned and farmers were forced to displace.

Raqqa’s food basket

Al Kasrat, which lies along with the Euphrates, is one of the most fertile lands in Raqqa and maybe in whole Syria. It is known for its summer vegetables, but it fell significantly as a result of the general situation in the city and the too high prices of fertilizers.

Livestock are threatened with extinction

As a result of the decline in the agricultural field, it is normal for the livestock to decline as well not to mention the rare and very expensive animals’ drugs. Smuggling cattle (Awasi) toward Turkey to benefit from price difference between the two countries played a major role in declining this field.

The lack of humanitarian aid

ISIS banned all humanitarian organizations from working in its controlled areas in the pretext of they are international intelligence.
These indicators show us the real bad situation in the city, we can imaging the upcoming starvation especially after the statements that talk about isolating the city, which means besieging it and letting hundreds of thousands of people face starvation.

media activist from the city of Raqqa, student at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Euphrates. Director of the Media Office of Raqqa, founding member of "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", founding member of the documentary project of "Sound and Picture". I work in documenting violations committed by Assad's regime and ISIS group and extremist organizations inside the city of Raqqa, as I work in programming, design and visual media. I hold a certificate of coach in digital security, and a certificate of journalist coach, and a certificate in documenting violations against human rights, and a certificate in electronic advocacy. I underwent a training under the supervision of "Cyber-Arabs" in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace "IWPR", about the management of electronic websites and leadership of advocacy campaigns, and a training of press photography under the supervision of the photojournalist "Peter Hove Olesen".