A child sits outside the wrecked remains of a home in Homs, the central Syrian city which saw heavy fighting earlier this year. Copyright: WFP/Abeer Etefa
Humanitarian needs – especially food – are growing in Syria as fighting continues to force thousands of families to flee their homes. Here is an overview of what WFP is doing inside and outside Syria to support the people affected by the fighting.
ROME – With fighting ongoing in cities such as Aleppo and Damascus, WFP has scaled up operations throughout Syria, providing food assistance to over 1.5 million people per month since September.
Displaced in Homs
Five months ago taxi-driver Abu Mohamed and his family were trapped in their home as gun battles raged in their neighbourhood of Hom’s old town. A lull in fighting allowed then to escape and take refuge in a public shelter, where they now receive WFP food rations. Read story
Responding to the refugee crisis
The conflict in Syria led thousands of Syrians to flee to neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. Food is priority needs. Find out more
Most of those receiving food are families who have fled the fighting and are now staying with friends, relatives or living in public shelters. Official figures put the number of displaced at 1.2 million, but it could be higher.
We are also providing food to the most vulnerable families who are still in their homes but with greatly reduced access to food because of the conflict.
Soaring food prices
In areas where fighting is taking place, food prices are reported to have almost doubled since before the conflict. In governorates visited by WFP staff, these already high food prices have increased by an additional 20 percent or more. Cooking fuel is also in short supply, selling on the black market at a 400 percent mark-up.
By working with our local partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, we are able to reach most of the 14 Syrian governorates with food assistance. But there are some areas that no one can reach because of the security situation.
Meanwhile, some 350,000 people have fled across Syria’s borders and become refugees in neighbouring Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. WFP teams in these countries are using food vouchers as part of the response. Find out more
We reached over 140,000 refugees in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon in October with food assistance through food vouchers, in-kind food distributions or hot meals in refugee camps. The voucher system has just been extended to help an additional 25,000 refugees in Turkey.
The food vouchers can be redeemed against a list of items including cheese, milk, yogurt and eggs, which are not normally included in food rations. WFP often uses vouchers when food is available in the market but people do not have enough money to buy it.