Syrian Arab Republic
Current issues and what the World Food Programme is doing
The World Food Programme’s (WFP) Syria response helps people affected by the conflict, by delivering food, e-cards and organising logistics. More information can be found on the Syria emergency page.
What are the current issues in the Syrian Arab Republic
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 household earners have become unemployed and soaring food and fuel prices across the country have also exacerbated the situation. In response, the World Food Programme (WFP) – in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and 23 other local organisations– is providing monthly food assistance to close to four million Syrians inside Syria and 1.5 million refugees in neighbouring countries.
WFP uses over 700 trucks a month to dispatch food to hundreds of distribution points across the country, as well as delivering other goods for the humanitarian community.
Hundreds of thousands of families have fled the violence in their country and have taken refuge in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt. Humanitarian assessments in these countries showed that food is a top priority and WFP is responding to refugees’ needs with food distributions and innovative food vouchers.
What the World Food Programme is doing in the Syrian Arab Republic
WFP has been operating in Syria since 1964 and has since provided more than US$500 million worth of food assistance in the country through development and emergency operations.
WFP is reaching nearly six million people a month in Syria and neighbouring countries with vital food assistance. Working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and 23 other local organisations, WFP is distributing food even in even hard hit areas subject to fighting.
WFP is also aiming to reach by the end of the year 300,000 vulnerable children with additional ready-to-eat supplementary products to treat and prevent malnutrition.These products come in the form of nutrient spreads such as Nutributter for children aged 6-23 months and Plumpy’doz for children aged 6-59 months.
Food security and drought-affected areas
Since 2006, Syria has been hit by four consecutive years of drought resulting in crop failure, compounded by encroaching desertification and rising food and fuel prices. The 2007-2008 drought was the worst in 40 years and families were unable to recover because of subsequent partial crop failures. In 2009, WFP launched an emergency response to the drought assisting a total of 300,000 smallholder farmers and herders in Northeast Syria.
Assistance to Iraqi Refugees in Syria
Since the onset of the conflict in Iraq in 2003, Syria has hosted the largest Iraqi refugee population in the region. From 2007 until 2012, WFP provided food assistance to the vulnerable among them. In 2010, WFP started an Electronic Voucher System (EVS) which proved to be an effective and efficient model to distribute food to refugees living in an urban context.
Food For Education
In 2010, WFP launched a food-for-education development project. It aimed to encourage children and illiterate women living in rural areas to attend schools or literacy classes in return for food assistance. During 2010-2011, WFP reached more than 50,000 people (45,750 children and 5,000 women).
Featured Syrian Arab Republic publications
A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.
Looking for more publications on the Syrian Arab Republic? Visit the Syrian Arab Republic publications archive.