Europe

UN agencies say food production in Syria hits record low

  • FILE -- In this Oct. 11, 2016 file photo, provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, residents sit amongst rubble in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syria. Syrian opposition activists say airstrikes have hit rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, for the first time in three weeks, fearing it could signal the start of a new government offensive in the northern city. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that airstrikes struck three neighborhoods. It had no immediate word on casualties. (Syrian Civil Defense- White Helmets via AP, File)

    FILE -- In this Oct. 11, 2016 file photo, provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, residents sit amongst rubble in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syria. Syrian opposition activists say airstrikes have hit rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, for the first time in three weeks, fearing it could signal the start of a new government offensive in the northern city. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that airstrikes struck three neighborhoods. It had no immediate word on casualties. (Syrian Civil Defense- White Helmets via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this 2004 file photo the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier seen in the Barents Sea, Russia. The Russian military says one of its the MiG-29 fighter jets based at a Russian aircraft carrier currently near Syria's shores has crashed on a training mission, but its pilot has survived. (AP Photo, File)

    FILE - In this 2004 file photo the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier seen in the Barents Sea, Russia. The Russian military says one of its the MiG-29 fighter jets based at a Russian aircraft carrier currently near Syria's shores has crashed on a training mission, but its pilot has survived. (AP Photo, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, a Russian Su-33 fighter jet stands on the flight deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The Russian military on Tuesday launched a series of strikes on militant targets in Syria involving carrier-borne fighters, marking the Admiral Kuznetsov's combat debut. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/ Photo via AP)

    In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, a Russian Su-33 fighter jet stands on the flight deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The Russian military on Tuesday launched a series of strikes on militant targets in Syria involving carrier-borne fighters, marking the Admiral Kuznetsov's combat debut. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/ Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Two U.N. agencies say food production in Syria has shrunk to "an all-time low," threatening to drive more people from their homes after 5-1/2 years of war.

The World Food Program and the Food and Agricultural Organization say factors like rising prices, poor weather, general instability and the lack of fertilizer and seeds could force some farmers to stop producing.

A joint report released Tuesday says the planting area in the 2015-2016 season was the smallest ever in zones controlled by the government, ethnic Kurds and the armed opposition. WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher said information was lacking about areas controlled by the radical Islamic State group.

FAO regional representative Abdessalam Ould Ahmed said 80 percent of households lack food or money to buy it.