Emergency operations

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.

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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 main breadwinners 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 organizations– is providing monthly food assistance to close to 3 million Syrians and will scale up to feed 4 million people by October.

With serious bread shortages across the country, in April WFP also started the distribution of wheat flour providing 5 kilograms of flour per person per month. 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 needs 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.

Current events

The World Food Programme is reaching about 3 million people a month in Syria with vital food assistance and is helping the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled into neighbouring countries. Working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and 23 other local organizations, 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 to 23 months and Plumpy’doz for children aged 6 to 59 months.

Food security and drought-affected areas

Since 2006, Syria was 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. During that period WFP started in 2010 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).

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