Syria: end sanctions and find a political solution to peace - The Lancet Global Health
Syria is rapidly descending into hell, Iraq-style, and the global health community needs to wake up to the implications of this reality.
The economic losses of the country at the end of 2014 stood at US$143·8 billion,4 with more than 80% of the population living in poverty, of whom a third (32·6%) were in abject poverty, unable to obtain even basic food items. More than half of the population (52·8%) is displaced, of whom a third are internally displaced. Life expectancy has been reduced from 75·9 years in 2010 (one of the highest in the region for countries not part of the Gulf Cooperation Council) to 55·7 years in 2014—a loss of 20 years.4 The unemployment rate rose from 15%5 in 2011 to 55·7% in 2014, with more than 3 million losing work within the first 2 years of the conflict. The cost of basic food items has risen six-fold since 2010, although it varies regionally. With the exception of drugs for cancer and diabetes, Syria was 95% self-sufficient in terms of drug production before the war. This has virtually collapsed as have many hospitals and primary health-care centres.