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As Hunger Grips Syrian Families, European Commission Boosts Support For WFP

BRUSSELS – As half the population of Syria struggle to meet their food needs, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of €30 million from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) to its emergency food assistance in Syria.

“This contribution comes at a very critical time. WFP supports more than 4.25 million people in need inside Syria, including families who are preparing for another harsh winter,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

WFP was forced to reduce the size of the food rations it provides to families inside Syria by up to 25 percent this year. Some 10 million people in the country face food insecurity.

In 2015, the overall EC contributions to the Syria crisis response amount to €36 million (€30 million for Syria and €6 million for Syrian refugees). Since 2012, the overall EC contributions to WFP’s Syria crisis operations amount to over €240 million (US$272 million).

“We count on Europe at this time. Syrians are becoming ever more desperate. They have exhausted all their resources and are losing hope for the future,” said Hadi. “They should not have to worry about hunger, too.”

WFP depends entirely on voluntary contributions. It has to raise US$25 million every week to meet the basic food needs of people affected by the Syrian conflict.

New donor contributions in recent weeks mean that WFP has been able to increase the value of assistance it provides to extremely vulnerable Syrian refugees in neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon to an average of US$21 per person per month. This is 80 percent of what WFP estimates people need.

WFP has also been able to restore assistance to 229,000 vulnerable refugees in Jordan following a suspension in September of their electronic vouchers used to purchase food. WFP will upload US$14 per person in October for this group of refugees.

“We call all donors to step up their support to millions of Syrians who could fall victim to hunger this winter,” Hadi said.

At current levels of support, WFP can assist Syrian refugees until January 2016. Beyond that, WFP will not be able to continue to provide regular food assistance to the most vulnerable Syrians without additional funding.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @WFP_media, @WFP_MENA  and @WFP_Europe

For more information please contact (email address:
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Egypt (Regional Office), Tel. +20 2 25281730, Mob. +2 010 666 34352
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Guido van Heugten, WFP/Brussels, Tel. +32 2 500 09 10, Mob. +32 49 650 7432
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057