Despite the lack of baby milk in Damascus’s markets for about two months now, the relevant authorities have failed to acknowledge the existence of a problem threatening the lives of an entire generation or hurry to solve it—instead it has resorted to its usual behavior, of responding to all accusations by saying, “There is no crisis.”
Local sources in Damascus told Business2Business Syria that the baby milk shortage had reached an unprecedented stage, with the chances of finding a packet of milk in the pharmacies almost like searching for a needle in a haystack.
The head of Pharmacists Syndicate in Syria, Mahmoud al-Hassan, denied there was any crisis in the market regarding baby milk 15 days ago, saying that there were alternatives to the types that were missing from the local market
Hassan said that types of milk imported from Iran were missing due to the American embargo on Iran which had impacted the arrival of milk to Syria, which had caused a deficiency and caused increased demand.
Hassan promised that baby milk would be provided to the markets within days, saying that a shipment was coming from Iran and that it would arrive soon.
Other sources in the Phamacists Syndicate guessed that Syrian import agents had stopped bringing in the item, which could be a prelude to raising the price.
The sources told Business2Business Syria that Syrian families had resorted to a variety of means to secure alternatives to the missing milk, such as buying milk from Lebanon at a price of 8,000 lira a packet—which is usually not enough to feed one child for more than four days.
Others have resorted to buying milk from smuggler markets in the Madaya and Baqin areas at prices between 3,000 to 5,000 lira, depending on the type.
Limited income people are resorting to adding water to cow milk after boiling it and refrigerating it, which could cause health problems for the child, or to feeding the child other food stuffs such as yogurt and light fluids.
Sources told Business2Business Syria that the alternatives in the pharmacies had caused children’s diseases, but that parents had been forced to use them, with children getting colic, diarrhoea and poisoning.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.