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Press Release: ICARDA Compound and GeneBank facilities in Syria remain intact

Oct 07,2015

On October 1, GRS staff prepare a FIGS subset of durum wheat from ICARDA’s active collection and then dispatched to Australia.

AMMAN - The compound and GeneBank of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Tel Hadya, Aleppo, Syria, are safe contrary to some online and Syria based media reports from today.

In the night of October 6, 2015, warplanes believed to be Russian carried out airstrikes on places near the ICARDA compound in the south western countryside of Aleppo. Both Aleppo and Damascus based ICARDA staff confirmed that the ICARDA compound and its GeneBank facilities remain intact.

The security situation in Syria has significantly affected ICARDA’s field related activities. However, in spite of all difficulties, the storage facilities of its GeneBank are still operational.

ICARDA has secured 100% of its germplasm collections stored in Aleppo outside of the country. In 2014, ICARDA had duplicated more than 80% of its globally unique collection of the plant genetic resources to Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway. Germplasm sets have also been stored at the CGIAR Research Centers CIMMYT and ICRISAT, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Germany, Turkey, Lebanon and Morocco.

ICARDA has established temporary headquarters in Lebanon where it has already  a research station in Terbol, under its headquarters host country agreement of 1977.



The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is the global agricultural research organization working with countries in the world’s dry and marginal areas to deliver sustainable systems solutions that increase productivity, improve rural nutrition, and strengthen national food security.

For more information, please contact Andrea Gros, ICARDA Head of Communication at

A recent photo is available for download HERE.  

Caption: GRS staff prepared a FIGS subset of durum wheat from ICARDA’s active collection, where it is then dispatched to a partner in Australia.