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11 January 2013

Editor's note: Three of the United Nations' most senior executives have written a joint opinion piece exclusively for CNN.com. They are Antonio Gutterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees; Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the World Food Program; and Anthony Lake, executive director of the U.N. Children's Fund or UNICEF.


10 January 2013

Abeer Etefa, World Food Programme spokeswoman, talks to Becky about the growing number of Syrians lacking food.


9 January 2013

Abeer Etefa, World Food Programme spokeswoman, talks to Becky about the growing number of Syrians lacking food.


9 January 2013

As the Syria conflict further escalates, refugees continue to cross borders to seek safety in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt. According to the U.N., the number of Syrians who have registered as refugees -- or are being assisted in these countries -- now exceeds 540,000, with an increase of over 140,000 during the past six weeks alone. I recently traveled to eastern Lebanon to work with Mercy Corps and assist the refugees who have fled their homes in Syria. It was a cold, foggy day with a constant downpour of icy rain.


9 January 2013

The World Food Program, the food agency of the United Nations, said that it was providing food to one and a half million people inside Syria this month but that as many as two and a half million needed help, mostly in areas made hazardous by fighting between insurgents and loyalist forces of President Bashar al-Assad. (..) “Our partners are overstretched, and there is no capacity to expand operations further,” said a WFP spokeswoman, Elizabeth Byrs. (..) She also said acute fuel shortages in Syria had delayed food deliveries and contributed to severe inflation in the price of bread because bakeries needed fuel for their ovens.


28 December 2012

Winter's cold is a serious threat, especially for children and those already weakened after their escape from Syria, say officials with the United Nations and other agencies assisting the Syrian multitudes. (..) At Zaatari, home to about 40,000 refugees, workers are hastening to winterize the vast camp, situated in an inhospitable stretch of desert where winter temperatures regularly plunge below freezing and strong winds and snow are not uncommon. (..) The vast majority of refugees stay with host families, rent homes or otherwise scramble to find housing and aid. More than 500,000 have signed up for U.N. assistance.


20 December 2012

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Syrians to get enough food as the conflict continues in the country, according to the World Food Programme. (..) WFP spokesperson in Geneva Elisabeth Byrs tells UN Radio's Patrick Maigua that since the beginning of November her agency has distributed food assistance to 1.3 million people inside Syria.


20 December 2012

The United Nations appealed on Wednesday for $1.5 billion to help save the lives of millions of Syrians suffering a "dramatically deteriorating" humanitarian situation. (..) The U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP) is reaching 1.5 million Syrians inside the country with food rations each month, but said it faces increasing constraints, including mounting insecurity and fuel shortages. "Food processing, milling, bakeries rely on fuel electricity to produce a bread product. And of course we are dealing with a largely urbanized population here, so naturally any interruption of that infrastructure is going to be cause for concern," said David Kaatrud, WFP director of emergencies.


19 December 2012

Syrians at home and abroad are pouring millions of dollars and other aid into their country in an effort to ease a growing humanitarian crisis that is straining relief agencies, opposition groups and neighboring states. (..) Aid agencies and others say hunger is reaching alarming proportions, as the armed rebellion spawned by the 21-month old uprising against the Assad regime presses deeper into government held-areas and the resulting conflict cuts more supply lines. The U.N. World Food Program warned this month that the deteriorating security situation meant aid groups were unable to reach 1 million people at risk of starvation.


19 December 2012

The UN's World Food Programme warned Tuesday that the spiralling violence in Syria was making it increasingly difficult to distribute food in the war-torn country. (..) "Food needs are growing in Syria," said WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs, whose organisation distributes most of its aid in Syria through the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). (..) Fuel shortages have also impacted WFP's ability to distribute aid, it said, adding that there were not enough humanitarian partners on the ground to help deliver the aid. The WFP appeal came after UN aid chief Valerie Amos at the weekend asked the Syrian government to allow 10 additional aid organisations into the country.