“Half the besieged population, an estimated 200,000 people, are trapped in Deir ez-Zor, where ISIL [Islamic State] took control in July 2014,” Cousin said. “However, due to the extensive damages on the runway, lack of air space security for our planes, inability of our staff or partners to distribute, we have been powerless to assist those in need in Deir ez-Zor.”
Cousin explained that food prices at Deir ez-Zor are many times higher than what WFP would expect, and they provide a huge obstacle for residents to obtain food.
“[H]ousehold level purchasing power has dropped to alarming levels, resulting in limited access to food as the financial means to purchase food from market costs some 240,000 Syrian pounds, ten times what we would expect,” Cousin noted.
The Islamic State, also known as Daesh, is a designated terrorist group that is outlawed in the United States, Russia and numerous other countries. Since 2014, the terror group has captured huge sways of territory in Iraq and Syria, where it proclaimed a caliphate under Sharia law.