Residents of E. Syria suffer from bread crisis as the Syrian regime loots and steals UN aid sent to al Jazeera area

Most of the people living in those areas of the governorates of Raqqa and Deir Ez-Zour currently under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces are suffering from an acute crisis in securing bread, with many bakeries suspending work because of the scarcity of flour and the rise in the price of essential materials needed to bake bread. This is forcing local people to stand for long hours in crowded queues that do not observe the precautionary social distancing measures amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Local activists confirmed to the Syrian Network for Human Rights that some bakeries have stopped working due to technical breakdowns of equipment which are difficult to repair without importing parts from other governorates, with the curfew and the closure of crossings, both imposed by the SDF, preventing them from doing so. The SDF’s sale of wheat to the Syrian regime also plays a role in these shortages, leading a number of bakeries to stage a strike as a result of this and of bread prices being determined by the SDF’s Supply Committees and the General Administration of Finance and Consumer Protection.
SNHR has noted the terrible effects of the SDF’s disastrous policies in managing civil affairs in the areas under the group’s control in several reports, with the lack of transparency and financial reports playing a significant role in the spread of corruption and theft.

Meanwhile, the decision to end deliveries of UN humanitarian aid across al Ya’rubiya crossing on Iraqi-Syrian border for the next year, which was adopted by the Security Council on July 11, 2020, means that the Syrian regime now controls all current and future UN aid coming to al Jazeera region, most of which is looted by the regime, directly threatening hundreds of thousands of lives, especially those of the displaced; this means we may be facing cases of deaths from deliberately induced famine and lack of medical and nutritional care, especially among children, women, and people with special needs.

The attached image, shared online on July 9, 2020, shows families jostling in front of a bakery