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WFP halves food aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A young Syrian refugee girl stands near a water container at an informal refugee camp in the area of Zahrani, south of the Lebanese capital city of Beirut, July 9, 2015. (© AFP)

The World Food Program (WFP) has slashed by half its food assistance for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon due to a funding crisis.

Muhannad Hadi, the WFP’s regional director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, announced the decision on Friday.

Hadi said the international community must help the food assistance branch of the United Nations to continue its drive to keep refugees from going hungry.

The WFP official further urged international donors to increase their contributions, otherwise “it will be only a matter of months before we face the same situation again.”

The WFP said that the most vulnerable of the Syrian refugees living outside camps in Jordan will receive USD 14 per person in August while the rest will get only USD 7 each.

The agency will also provide the Syrian refugees in Lebanon with USD 13.5 per month, which is half of their initial entitlement.

The development comes as the WFP is currently underfunded and needs USD 168 million to keep helping Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey through October.

Syrian refugees are seen outside their tents at an informal camp near the Syrian border on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan, July 26, 2015. (© AP)

 

Syria has been grappling with a foreign-sponsored crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri terrorist groups has reportedly left over 230,000 people dead so far.

More than 4 million Syrians have left their country since the beginning of the conflict, according to latest figures released by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Lebanon is home to 1,172,753 Syrian refugees while Jordan hosts more than 629,000 refugees, with about 100,000 housed in refugee camps and the rest living in Jordanian communities.

In a joint report published on July 23, the WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned of worsening food insecurity in the Arab country, saying that the ongoing crisis is pushing more people into poverty and hunger.

Approximately 9.8 million Syrians are estimated to be “food insecure,” with 6.8 million of them “severely food insecure,” according to the report.


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