Mothers and children in Syria forced to scavenge in bins, warns Christian charity

Syria is experiencing dire food shortagesReuters

Mothers and children pushed to the brink of starvation in Syria are so desperate for something to eat they are scavenging in bins, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has warned.

The deepening economic crisis has led to widespread food shortages in the country, which has been brought to its knees by a decade of civil war. 

Sister Annie Demerjian told ACN that people are "surviving on one meal a day or less".

"The explosion of poverty is now worse than in the time of war," she said. 

She added: "Our people are not getting enough to eat ... It is very painful to see people, children and women, looking in bins desperate for food."

According to the UN, 60 per cent of Syrians are not getting enough to eat each day, and at least half a million children under the age of five are suffering from stunted growth or chronic malnutrition. 

Inflation has compounded the problem, causing food prices to rise sharply. 

ACN has launched a new 'Hungry for Hope' campaign to provide food and other assistance for struggling Syrians.

Sister Annie is one of ACN's partners who will benefit from the funds raised.

She plans to use the money to provide food vouchers, children's clothes and rent money for hundreds of people threatened with eviction after falling behind on their rent payments.

She added, "So many years of war have paralysed the lives of our people – hundreds and thousands of people without getting any job – so you can imagine life without work, without income."