As the crisis in Syria continues into its 12th year, families across the country are facing unprecedented levels of poverty and food insecurity. More Syrians are struggling to put food on their tables today than ever before.
WFP estimates that 12 million Syrians are now grappling with food insecurity. That is more than half the population and 51 percent more than in 2019.
Record highs of food prices, a fuel crisis, ongoing inflation, continuing conflict in some parts of the country, adverse weather and the war in Ukraine in early 2022 have taken a devastating toll on Syria’s most vulnerable.
The World Food Programme (WFP) provides life-saving food assistance to 5.6 million people in Syria each month. This assistance supports families with food rations and / or value vouchers to buy food, provides schoolchildren across the country with healthy snacks, and prevents and treats malnutrition in mothers and children.
To complement life-saving humanitarian assistance and gradually lessen dependence on external assistance, WFP is investing in resilience programmes such as rehabilitation of irrigation channels and bakeries.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Syria
WFP provides 5.6 million people in all 14 governorates with key foods to prevent them from slipping further into hunger. WFP distributes this food to some of the country’s most vulnerable families who have been affected by conflict, economic decline and climate change. WFP is scaling up its cash-based assistance where instead of a food ration, families receive a mix of key food commodities and cash assistance, to flexibly purchase their needs of food from a number of WFP-contracted retailers. This contributes to generating demand and job opportunities within the local market, and injects cash into the local economy.
WFP’s nutrition programme helps children to get the best possible start in life and supports pregnant and nursing mothers to fight and prevent malnutrition. WFP currently supports over 300,000 pregnant and nursing women and girls and children aged between 6 months and 2 years to access nutrient-rich foods and improve their diets across all 14 governorates in Syria. This includes supporting women with value vouchers to diversify their diets, improve vitamin and mineral intake, and meet their nutritional needs.
WFP provides fortified snacks, fresh meals and assistance through electronic vouchers to more than 460,000 students. This food is a key step towards helping students to improve their health and nutrition and motivates families to send children to school. The fresh school meals programme in Aleppo employs vulnerable women and provides them with training and an income so they can support their families and become financially independent.
Livelihoods and resilience
To support communities’ self-sufficiency beyond urgent assistance, WFP supports families across Syria to restore their livelihoods, improve their food security and enhance their resilience to future shocks. Through trainings and the rehabilitation of local infrastructure such as irrigation channels and bakeries, Syrian families will have the opportunities they need to remain on their farms, grow their own food and improve their incomes.
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