WFP accelerates earthquake response in Syria and Türkiye
ANKARA/DAMASCUS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered urgently needed food assistance to 115,000 people in Syria and Türkiye in the first four days since deadly earthquakes struck the region, killing thousands and forcing tens of thousands into the freezing outside temperatures. Distributions are ongoing.
“We’re providing mainly hot meals, ready-to-eat food rations and family food packages -- things that require no cooking facilities and can be consumed immediately,” said WFP Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Corinne Fleischer. “For the thousands of people affected by the earthquakes, food is one of the top needs right now and our priority is to get it to the people who need it fast.”
WFP is appealing for US$77 million to provide assistance through food rations and hot meals for a total of 874,000 quake-affected people in Türkiye and Syria. This includes 284,000 newly displaced people in Syria and 590,000 people in Türkiye, which includes 45,000 refugees and 545,000 internally displaced people.
Operational updates for Syria and Türkiye are as follows:
• WFP has reached a total of 43,000 people in Syria with hot meals and ready-to-eat rations. Thanks to prepositioned food inside the country, WFP has enough ready-to-eat rations for 100,000 people and enough stock of family rations to cover the needs of 1.4 million people for one month – the latter require cooking facilities and are ready for distribution.
• In Northwest Syria, around 23,850 affected people received through WFP partners ready-to-eat food rations that last for one week. In Aleppo, 5,000 affected people received ready-to-eat food rations through partners, 6,000 people received hot meals for the fourth day running and 4,000 children received sandwiches at temporary shelters over the past 48 hours.
• In Tartous and Lattakia governorates, coastal Syria, 1,500 affected people received ready-to-eat rations and 1,650 people at temporary shelters received sandwiches.
• In Hama, WFP distributed RTEs to support 1,020 displaced people for one week.
• In Türkiye, WFP is providing a total of 72,000 refugees and people displaced by the earthquakes with family food baskets that cover their food needs for one week.
• On 9 February, WFP delivered food baskets to Osmaniye Cevdetiye camp for 18,000 quake-affected displaced Turks and Syrian refugees. WFP has delivered additional family food rations enough for 54,000 people in camps in Adana, Hatay, Kilis and Kahramanmaraş.
• WFP teams are delivering food to support municipalities in southeast Türkiye in expanding soup kitchens that are providing daily cooked meals for quake-affected people. The food will be used to prepare cooked meals through municipal community kitchens to be distributed daily for 2 weeks to around 200,000 quake-affected people in four provinces; Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis and Kahramanmaraş.
• WFP will increase its assistance to Syrian refugees as well as provide food rations for Turkish citizens displaced by the quakes and sheltering in temporary accommodation camps.
• Refugees are normally assisted through electronic vouchers, but the assistance will be switched to food packages as supermarkets are now unable to accept vouchers. WFP will continue to review its response plan, as needs arise.
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The U.N. World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.
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