MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russia has supplied 100,000 tonnes of wheat to Syria as humanitarian aid since the start of 2020 and plans to ship more to the war-torn country, the Interfax news agency reported on Dec. 18.

Plagued by civil war for nearly a decade, Syria has an estimated 9.3 million individuals who are considered “food insecure,” according to the Global Hunger Index, an annual report jointly published Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.

Russia, one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad but its official customs data does not show any significant supplies of wheat to Syria.

“In terms of goals of rebuilding the Syrian economy, we have already had very significant decisions taken in recent weeks that will significantly enhance Syria’s ability to organize (this) work in a systematic manner,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Lavrov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Meanwhile, Russia earlier this week said it plans to impose an export tax on wheat of $30.40 per tonne between Feb. 15 and June 30 in an effort to lower rising food prices. It also will impose a 17.5-million-tonne grain export quota during that same period.