Rome Newsroom, Sep 18, 2020 / 15:00 pm
After nearly 10 years of war, the Syrian people have now been hit with a "poverty bomb" amid the coronavirus pandemic, a Vatican diplomat said this week.
Cardinal Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio to Syria since 2008, said that many Syrians had died in the country's long conflict from various types of weapons, "from cluster bombs, to barrel bombs, to missiles launched everywhere."
"However, if there were these bombs before, now there is what I call the poverty bomb: according to United Nations data, this bomb is hitting more than 80% of people, and this is very serious. You can see the effects of hunger, malnutrition of children, above all," Zenari said in an interview published in L'Osservatore Romano Sept. 18.
Syria is facing an unprecedented hunger crisis, according to the United Nations World Food Programme, which estimates that 9.3 million Syrians are food insecure -- an increase of 1.4 million people from the beginning of 2020 as economic instability has increased the cost of food.