ROME – Amid mounting concern about the deepening suffering caused by conflict in Syria, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a generous contribution from the Government of the United Kingdom of £28.3 million (around US$43 million) that will help provide much-needed food assistance to tens of thousands of Syrians both inside and outside their country.
Thanks to the support of the UK among other donors, WFP will be able to provide food rations to displaced families in Syria itself, as well as supporting more than half a million refugees in neighbouring countries.
WFP will also use the new UK contribution to issue food vouchers to thousands of Syrian refugees who are either sheltering in camps in Turkey or as urban refugees in Lebanon. In both countries, the presence of so many refugees is stretching the capacity of communities and governments.
“Ever since we launched our emergency operation in Syria and the region last year, the UK has been both timely and effective in responding,” said WFP Emergency Coordinator for the Syria crisis Muhannad Hadi. “The UK has also given us the freedom to maximise our use of resources, according to our assessment of the situation. For example we provide food vouchers instead of direct food assistance in areas where markets are still functional. This means WFP is supporting both Syrian refugees and host communities, who are suffering increased pressure in these difficult times.”
The UK is also helping WFP scale up its logistics capacity by providing armoured vehicles and personal protective equipment to assist field monitors inside Syria move around in dangerous areas.
The UK is the second largest donor to WFP’s relief efforts – helping vulnerable Syrians inside their country as well as those who have fled to neighbouring countries. The UK has contributed £53 million (nearly US$82 million) to WFP’s Syria emergency operation since the beginning of the crisis.
WFP must raise US$19 million (around £12 million) each week in order to provide food assistance to 2.5 million hungry people inside Syria and more than one million refugees in neighbouring countries.
# # #
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600 Mob. +2 010 666 34352
Laure Chadraoui, WFP/Beirut-Amman, Mob. + 962795917987 and +9613489925
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob. +1 646 8241112
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2610, Mob. +2 010 666 34522