High meat prices in war-torn Syria are forcing locals to seek alternatives and one charity in Idlib has turned to rabbits to stem the problem. Some 138 rabbits brought into the opposition-held part of Idlib from Turkey, a supporter of the Syrian opposition, multiplied to about 700 in two months thanks to the extraordinary breeding habits of the animals. The Syria-based Beled charity hopes it will resolve the problem of meat consumption for the poor.
Muhammad al-Drubi, who oversees the rabbit breeding program, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they offer the utmost care for the rabbits and they plan to increase the quality by mating different breeds.
Six years of civil war that devastated Syria's economy has limited people's access to red meat, one of the many commodities whose prices have skyrocketed due to the scarcity of livestock, increased transportation prices and other factors. Idlib and other opposition-held areas depend on humanitarian aid, and Turkey, both with private-run charities and state-run agencies, has spearheaded the humanitarian efforts. Idlib, the scene of intra-opposition conflict that left about 1 million residents in the crossfire, suffers from electricity and food shortages. Turkey has repeatedly called on the international community to exert efforts to ensure the establishment of de-escalation zones to provide a relatively safe environment for civilians trapped in the conflict.