The conflict in Syria continues to impact the humanitarian situation resulting in significant humanitarian needs.
Access to basic needs including food, water, electricity and medical supplies has been interrupted in areas witnessing armed activities. A growing number of main breadwinners have become unemployed and soaring food and fuel prices across the country have also exacerbated the situation. In response, WFP – in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and 23 other local organizations– is providing monthly food assistance to close to 3 million Syrians and will scale up to feed 4 million people by October.
Rawda Al-Khouli is one of 155 WFP aid workers currently working in Syria, delivering food for nearly 4 million people every month.
When her home in the Syrian town of Qudsaya was destroyed, most of her family fled the country. But Rawda remained so she could look after her elderly mother.
She is now working on the front lines of WFP's emergency operation, coordinating food distributions with our partner NGOs.
THE SYRIA RESPONSE is WFP’s largest and most complex emergency worldwide. In the past two years, ongoing violence there has forced nearly 5 million people to flee their homes, creating a growing humanitarian crisis. But WFP has been on the ground since the crisis began.
Last month alone, WFP dispatched enough food to feed more than 3.4 million people affected by the violence, including eight communities in rural Homs and Deraa that had been previously inaccessible. In addition to staples like wheat flour, bulgur, lentils and canned goods, WFP also distributes specialized nutrition products—known as Plumpy’doz and Nutributter— to nearly 100,000 young children in Syria each month. In Jordan, more than 400,000 portions of flat bread are distributed daily in the Zaatari refugee camp.
Where food is available but unaffordable, WFP has so far provided more than $100 million in vouchers to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan that can be redeemed in markets, which in turn boosts the local economies. In Lebanon, WFP is currently rolling out an innovative electronic voucher system— made possible with technical support from MasterCard— that is expected to reach up to 800,000 people by the end of the year. By moving from paper vouchers to e-vouchers, WFP can reach more people more effectively.
At any given moment, there are approximately 5,000 trucks, 50 planes and 30 ships delivering WFP food assistance across the planet.
As the Syrian civil war continues to rage, millions of people are forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighboring countries. Many of these people seek shelter at the Zaatari camp in Jordan, now home to 110,000 people. The United Nations’ estimates suggest that the number of displaced persons could exceed 10 million in 2014. The World Food Program (WFP) is working to bring life-saving relief and food aid to almost 3 million people per month inside Syria, as well as over 1 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey.
Last month, WFP successfully completed its first distribution of food vouchers to all Syrian refugees living in the Zaatari camp, allowing them to buy food of their choice from shops within the camp.
WFP has been distributing food rations to all of the refugees and providing school meals to students, but now in addition to the rations, WFP is also providing refugees with food vouchers. Um Shadi Bardan was one of millions forced to flee her home in Dara, Syria and seek refuge in Zaatari. When she first arrived to the camp WFP provided Um Shadi Bardan and her family with 'dry' rations of lentils, rice and bulgar. Now WFP provides her with food vouchers allowing her and her family to purchase the food of their choice. Since the implementation of the voucher system, Bardan’s family has been able to “buy what we want, we are very happy with the vouchers”. The vouchers have also started to boost the local economy.
WFP food assistance in Zaatari camp costs US$3.5 million a month. There are many Syrians trapped in conflict areas who are still in need of urgent food assistance. Your generous donations will help us continue to bring life-saving relief and food aid to people like Um Shadi Bardan and her family.
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