Food Aid for Syria Must Continue as Millions Face Severe Food Insecurity

Statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate for the Middle East Jesse Marks:

“The World Food Program (WFP) has announced plans to close its largest food assistance program to Syria in January 2024 due to extensive funding cuts.

After nearly 13 years of brutal civil war, Syria has one of the largest populations of food insecure people in the world—an unprecedented 12 million Syrians. Of these, 5.6 million people, overwhelmingly women and children, are directly reliant on WFP food aid.

These cuts leave the most vulnerable with few lifelines after  a year marked by deep tragedy and suffering as a result of the February earthquakes, economic deterioration, and ongoing violence in many parts of the country. Families across Syria are already making tradeoffs between buying food or affording healthcare, school, or fuel. These cuts will plunge Syrians into severe hunger—and could push many to flee Syria altogether.

Refugees International previously called on USAID and other donors to scale funding for WFP food assistance to reverse a series of drastic cuts earlier this year. However, no such assistance has so far averted the current trajectory of the crisis. USAID and other donors should immediately surge support to WFP and ensure millions in Syria have reliable access to food assistance. Anything short of robust and predictable food assistance for Syrians will deepen suffering for millions.” 

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