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UN Freezes Food Aid to 1.7m Syrian Refugees

by Vani Pradeep on December 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM
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 UN Freezes Food Aid to 1.7m Syrian Refugees

2014's winter is one of the most severe for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt as UN's World Food Programme has suspended a voucher program. As an outcome, 1.7 million refugees and more have been affected. The voucher cards are used like debit cards in local shops to acquire food. Through this scheme, about $800m has been injected into the supporting countries economies.

The organization has been routinely informing countries that more aid is required to support the growing crises in Syria. But, need for a further $64m support has crashed the scheme and it is very unfortunate that such an assistance operation has been put on sudden hold.


"And suspension of W.F.P. food assistance will endanger the health and safety of these refugees and will potentially cause further tensions, instability and insecurity in the neighboring host countries," Ertharin Cousin, the organization's executive director, said in a statement from its headquarters in Rome. She also said that these refugees are meagerly prepared to face the crises as they stay in camps and informal settlements. Both in Lebanon and Jordan, the tents are soaked in mud and their hygiene conditions seem too poor. Infact, many children lack warm clothes and shoes.

Greg Barrow, spokesman of WFP's London office says that the WFP program is the biggest food assistance provider that has all the magnitude to cover such a vast crisis. "For the next six months, the WFP requires $412.6m to support almost 3 million Syrian refugees in the neighboring countries," the UN body said in an operational resourcing update in November. To recall, in September, the organization cut the value of vouchers up to half, to $45 from $15 a month, based on the country.

In order to tackle growing disasters and conflicts, the International Red Cross has requested for a 25 percent greater budget in 2015. UN's international aid partners and their agencies will present to the donors their respective appeals for funds in order to operate Syria and Iraq.

Source: Medindia

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