WFP receives permission from Syrian govt to step up food aid

Thursday, January 17, 2013
WFP's Executive Director briefing reporters in Geneva
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
Geneva: The World Food Program (WFP) received permission from the Syrian government to work with dozens more local partners to deliver food aid to the 2.5 million people suffering hunger in the country, the agency chief has announced. 

Briefing journalists in Geneva following her recent trip to Turkey, WFP executive-director Ertharin Cousin said that the Syrian government had given the agency a list of 110 additional NGOs to now work with. 

Cousin said that after assessing the operational capacity of those 110 NGOs WFP had identified 44 NGOs from the list "which will give us the availability to scale up to another million persons", but she went on to warn that "We are always limited by the violence regardless of how many new partners we bring on".

The WFP has been able to feed only up to 1.5 million people in Syria each month because of the fighting and a lack of local partners capable of delivering aid. Its activities have been restricted because the government stopped it working with many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Syria.

Cousin also warned that the ability to deliver would be challenging and added that, "Our goal is to overcome those challenges at every opportunity to ensure we provide the food that is necessary". -UNifeed
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