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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.


14 May 2013

As the conflict in Syria drags on, more and more people are becoming displaced and the United Nations is having increasing difficulty in providing all of them with the aid they need to get by. (..) "We are being hindered in some areas of the country simply because we can't move around easily. (..) The other key challenge we have is funding," says WFP Deputy Country Director Kate Newton


30 April 2013

Aid workers in Syria are struggling to navigate a lawless archipelago of armed groups to get food to Syrians trapped in a fast-intensifying civil war, the head of the World Food Programme's Syria operation says. (..) Matthew Hollingworth said in an interview last week that WFP is trying to feed 2.5 million people every month inside Syria - a tenth of the population - and a million outside, in a conflict that has left 70,000 dead. (..) "We are trying to keep up with the enormity of the crisis and the impact of the brutality," he said.


22 April 2013

Seven million Syrians now need humanitarian assistance, according to an estimate from the United Nations. (..) This week, the head of the UN World Food Programme in Syria, which feeds 2.5 million people every month, told me about a trip he has just done from Damascus to Aleppo. He said they went through 50 checkpoints on the road between Syria's two biggest cities.


22 April 2013

The United States has delivered to the World Food Program enough wheat to feed more than a million Syrians for four months, the U.N. agency said in a statement on Sunday. (..) "We are very grateful for this timely contribution from the United States, which will allow us to supplement our food rations with wheat flour, especially in the areas where families are struggling to get their hands on bread, a staple part of their diet," said the WFP coordinator for Syria, Muhannad Hadi.


16 April 2013

After more than two years of conflict and more than 70,000 deaths, including thousands of children. ... After more than five million people have been forced to leave their homes, including over a million refugees living in severely stressed neighboring countries ... After so many families torn apart and communities razed, schools and hospitals wrecked and water systems ruined ... After all this, there still seems to be an insufficient sense of urgency among the governments and parties that could put a stop to the cruelty and carnage in Syria.


15 April 2013

We, leaders of U.N. agencies charged with dealing with the human costs of this tragedy, appeal to political leaders involved to meet their responsibility to the people of Syria and to the future of the region. We ask that they use their collective influence to insist on a political solution to this horrendous crisis before hundreds of thousands more people lose their homes and lives and futures — in a region already at the tipping point. Our agencies and humanitarian partners have been doing all we can.


15 April 2013

The internationally acclaimed British singer and composer Sami Yusuf visited Zaatari camp in Jordan where he saw at first hand the plight of refugees who fled the conflict in Syria. (..) Yusuf also stopped at WFP's distribution centres inside the camp where he met refugee men and women collecting their food rations. (..) This month, WFP is planning to feed up to 380,000 refugees living with host communities and in the camps through food vouchers and in-kind food assistance. WFP is short of $20m needed to continue its operations in Jordan and expand as more refugees arrive every day. As a celebrity partner for the World Food Programme, Yusuf has been promoting the fight against hunger around the world through his music and voicing the needs of millions of vulnerable people worldwide.


15 April 2013

The United Nations food relief agency today said it urgently needs $81 million to assist 2.5 hungry people inside Syria and one million refugees in neighbouring countries until June, and warned that without funding it would have to stop many of its current aid programmes. “Lack of funding would mean that WFP could resort to decreasing the number of people it currently supports and would halt plans to expand and increase the number of people it plans to feed, depriving hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people in need of urgently needed food assistance,” the spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP) Elisabeth Byrs said in Geneva. “With very limited alternatives to support themselves, this means refugees will face destitution or could resort to buying on credit adding a burden on their host communities,” she added.