WFP Deputy Executive Director Sees Plight Of Displaced Families In Syria

Published on 30 May 2013

DAMASCUS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Amir Abdulla today wrapped up a two-day visit to Syria to oversee the agency’s plans to scale up operations to feed three million people in July and see first-hand the plight of families fleeing from the fighting.

Abdulla visited areas outside Damascus and spent time talking to 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. WFP feeds more than 100,000 people in Al-Kisweh every month, as part of its life-saving emergency operation to provide food assistance for more than two million Syrians in all 14 of the country’s governorates.

“This is an agonising time for Syrians, with millions of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance,” said Abdulla. “In spite of significant logistical and security challenges -- especially in conflict zones -- WFP is doing all it can to reach these vulnerable people.”

Abdulla held meetings with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Social Affairs, as well as with WFP’s main partner in Syria, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), to enable WFP to reach more people in coming months.

He also visited a WFP logistics and packaging facility in Adliyeh on the outskirts of Damascus where he saw bulk food commodities being packaged into boxes ready to deliver to families. WFP introduced the packaging of food items to meet the needs and in order to minimize the exposure time for staff and people during distributions.

WFP is currently feeding around 2.5 million people inside Syria and more than one million refugees in neighbouring countries. The food delivered includes rice, bulgur wheat, lentils, sugar, vegetable oil and salt. In April, wheat flour was introduced into the food basket in some cases, in governorates facing bread shortages.

WFP started its emergency operation in Syria in August 2011 and has so far distributed more than 100,000 metric tons of food in over 400 different locations across the country.

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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.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600 Mob. +2 010 666 34352
Laure Chadraoui, WFP/Beirut-Amman, Mob. + 962795917987 and +9613489925
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
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Rene McGuffin, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1 202 6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1 202 4223383