Years of Drought: A Report on the Effects of Drought on the Syrian Peninsula - Environmental Justice

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December 14, 2010
By Masoud Ali

By Masoud Ali

Years of drought have affected the eastern and northeastern regions of Syria, comprised of the governorates of al-Raqqa, Deir al-Zor and al-Hasaka, which are also known as the Syrian “peninsula” or “jazira”. The peninsula region has the largest tracts of arable lands in Syria, and is considered the (agricultural) backbone of the country.

Agriculture is considered one of the most important sectors in Syria. Other than trade and agro-industry, the Syrian economy is highly dependent on agricultural production. However, the current drought has led to a significant reduction in agricultural production in this area and consequently a decline in the national economy.

One of the major consequences of the drought is that it has driven the majority of the population from this area towards the interior governorates in Syria. These mass migrations have concentrated within the larger Syrian cities, and mainly Damascus followed by Aleppo, Homs and Latakia, where people have gone in search of a livelihood and shelter. In addition to creating demographic changes in several areas in Syria, this internal migration has also produced many humanitarian, social and health problems.

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