Hunger in the news

7 June 2013

The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), which has delivered 500 million meals in Syria so far this year, expects its weekly costs to rise from almost $20 million now to $36 million after September. It says it has a funding shortfall of about $725 million. "These are huge numbers. They're not sustainable over the very long term," said WFP Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdulla.

5 June 2013

Should we keep a school open, or not; should the health centre shut its doors, or not. These are just some of the questions the dedicated staff members of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) have to answer on a daily basis as they carry out their work in embattled Syria. (..) The conflict has led the Agency to explore new and more creative ways to distribute its assistance. (..) Staff members also send refugees text messages informing them of the timing and locations of ATM card and food distributions, and cooperate with other partners such as the World Food Programme (WFP) to deliver food assistance in areas experiencing armed violence.

3 June 2013

Building the Burj Khalifa was a feat that took five years, but Jordanian bakers catering to Syrian refugees that have flooded the region are reaching three times that height — every day. (..) The approximately 500,000 pieces of khobz bread that are dished out each day to the more than 100,000 Syrian refugees who live in what is said to be the second largest refugee camp in the world, the Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp, would sit somewhere in the order of 2,500 metres if piled on top of each other, according to the World Food Programme.

3 June 2013

Pressure from aid agencies, the UN and the media over the [funding] shortfall appears to have now produced a dramatic turnaround. (..) But the growing numbers still fleeing Syria – and new camps already operating at breaking point – mean new appeals by the UNHCR and the World Food Programme are already being worked on. Aid is urgently needed as the situation, both for those inside the camps and for those trying to reach them, seems to be deteriorating. Thousands of refugees stranded near the closed border with Jordan are running out of food and many need medical treatment, aid workers and refugees said a few days ago.

31 May 2013

Laure Chadraoui, the WFP spokesperson in Jordan, says: “Thanks to the support of many donors including the UAE, we were able to provide food assistance to Syrian refugees.”

31 May 2013

The deputy head of the United Nations food relief programme today wrapped up his visit to Syria where the agency and its main partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, are scaling up operations to feed three million people in July. “This is an agonizing time for Syrians, with millions of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance,” said UN World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Amir Abdulla said in Damascus. (..) During his two-day visit, Mr. Abdulla spoke with Syrians receiving their monthly WFP food basket at a Syrian Arab Red Crescent food distribution point in Al-Kisweh, 15 kilometres south of the capital.

29 May 2013

The United Nations refugee agency today called on countries around Syria to keep their borders open for refugees, while also stressing the need for “urgent and robust” international support for host countries and aid agencies. (..) The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it assisted 1,000 families displaced from Al-Qusayr this week with food rations for one month, including rice, sugar, vegetable oil and lentils. Those families had reached the town of Hesieh at night on foot with only the clothes on their backs. They were sheltering in two schools, tents or with local families. “These people have been under siege inside Al-Qusayr for months and this is the first time WFP has been able to reach them,” spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told reporters.

20 May 2013

The UN estimates that there are now almost 7 million Syrians who, like Raja, depend on humanitarian assistance to survive. (..) A multitude of small NGOs, like the Jana Foundation—the organisation that provides food for Raja and her family—and larger organisations such as the World Food Program (WFP) are desperately trying to reach all the people in Syria who need their help.

17 May 2013

The Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila is perilously wedged along one of Lebanon's many sectarian fault lines. (..) Although Shatila was founded as a Palestinian refugee camp, many non-Palestinians now live there as well.

15 May 2013

Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), said that the mission monitored the distribution of an inter-agency food convoy that left on 8 May, consisting of nine trucks of food, hygiene items and water supplies sufficient for 25,000 people. (..) It was a region that normally lived on agriculture and cattle-farming but its economic cycle had been interrupted. There was no harvesting, many cattle had been lost, and because of the high prices of petrol and gas, people were using animal faeces for heating.