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Four million Syrians unable to buy food, U.N. says

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Four million Syrians, or a fifth of the population, are unable to produce or buy enough food for their needs and the situation could deteriorate further next year if the two-year old conflict continues, the United Nations said on Friday.

Following a visit to Syria between May and June, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) said in a report that domestic production over the next twelve months is likely to be severely compromised.

The agencies estimated Syria would need to import 1.5million tons of wheat for the 2013/14 season. Wheat production has fallen to 2.4 million tons, some 40 percent less than the annual average harvest before the conflict of more than 4million tons , they said.