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 24 other local organisations– is providing monthly food assistance to more than 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 24 other local organisations, WFP is distributing food even in even hard hit areas subject to fighting.
WFP is also aiming to reach 240,000 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.
Livelihoods and resilience
WFP is implementing in 2016, in collaboration with its partners, two projects in Al-Hasakeh and Tartous governorates, aimed at protecting and restoring livelihoods as well as restoring agricultural infrastructure. The first project promotes livelihood and productive assets for 1,500 farmer and herder households, benefitting some 7,500 people. The second project aims to rehabilitate greenhouses that were affected by a snowstorm last winter through the provision of plastic sheets, while addressing the immediate food needs of the affected households by providing monthly food rations during the lean season. The project will benefit approximately 15,000 people.
General food distribution
Every month, WFP distributes family food rations to displaced and conflict-affected families across the country. These rations contain staple food items including rice, bulgur wheat, pasta, lentils, canned food, sugar, salt, cooking oil and wheat flour. More than four million people benefit from this assistance every month.
In 2014, WFP launched a school feeding programme in Syria in partnership with UNICEF and the Ministry of Education. In December 2015, WFP distributed healthy school snacks to 375,000 children in primary schools in Rural Damascus, Damascus city, Aleppo, Homs, Tartous and Al-Hasakeh. WFP started also in December distributing the first batch of locally produced date bars that WFP purchased from a local manufacturer contracted in late August, which sources the raw materials from Syrian wholesalers and employs 15 people, including 5 women, involved in all stages of production. This initiative is a milestone in WFP’s effort to strengthen and build resilience in Syria.
WFP’s nutrition programme for pregnant women and nursing mothers helps more than 7,000 mothers in Homs and Lattakia to buy fresh produce, dairy and meat products to supplement their diets using WFP food vouchers. WFP plans to expand this programme to Tartous, Aleppo and Qamishly over the first quarter of 2016 other governorates, reaching 15,000 mothers this year. To prevent child malnutrition, WFP also aims to provide supplementary feeding products to 240,000 children under the age of five in eight Syrian governorates.
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.