[Video] WFP says urgent funding needed to feed Syrian refugees

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
WFP is delivering food assistance of about 1.5 million people a month
 inside Syria and is helping refugees in neighbouring countries
[PHOTO: WFP/Abeer/Etefe]
Damascus: Donors on Wednesday promised more than $1.5 billion in additional money over the next six months to aid civilians affected by the conflict in Syria, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who chaired a humanitarian pledging conference in Kuwait.

The World Food Programme (WFP) earlier said it needed around US$260 million to fund its operations in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

"This is a challenge that the entire global community must work together to address.  No child should go hungry because of the conflict in Syria and no one country is responsible for insuring that child receives the support that he or she needs.  We must all work together, “said Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP).

The agency is currently delivering food assistance to about 1.5 million people a month inside Syria, 85 percent of whom are internally displaced.

Video featuring the message, no child should go hungry because of the conflict in syria

WFP is distributing food in areas controlled by the government and the opposition, even where fighting is going on. The areas it is able to reach fluctuates depending on the fighting, with up to about 40 percent of distribution points being in disputed or opposition-controlled territory.

The agency says needs are growing, with serious bread and fuel shortages across the country, and that it is working to scale up to reach more people. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) estimates that 2.5 million Syrians inside the country need food assistance.

WFP also recently expanded its operation to help Syrians who have fled to neighbouring countries. It plans to provide food assistance to up to 755,000 refugees between January and June 2013, under the humanitarian community's revised Regional Refugee Response Plan (launched 19 December).

At Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp, WFP hands out ready-to-eat food to new arrivals, many of whom have made a long and risky journey to the Jordanian border.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR and WFP have also set up over 100 communal kitchens around the camp to allow the refugees to prepare their own meals from WFP food. The monthly food basket includes rice, bulgur wheat, pulses, sugar and salt, in addition to a daily bread distribution that provides around 15.5 metric tons of bread a day to refugees in Zaatari.
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