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WFP Funding Shortage Suspends Syrian Refugee Food Aid
December 1, 2014
The World Food Programme (WFP) , the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, has been forced to suspend its food voucher program for over 1.7 million Syrian refugees due to a shortage of funding.
Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt who had been using the vouchers to purchase food from local shops will suffer as a result of the suspension of this critical program. WFP has warned that the consequences of this suspension will be devastating for those already struggling to survive the harsh winter.
“A suspension of WFP food assistance will endanger the health and safety of these refugees and will potentially cause further tensions, instability and insecurity in the neighboring host countries,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
WFP is in dire need of funding and will require $64 million to support Syrian refugees in the month of December alone. Unfulfilled donor commitments contribute further to the current funding crisis.
In addition to providing food for the refugees, WFP's voucher program functions to stimulate the economies of those refugee hosting countries which border Syria. $800 million have already been injected into the economies of these bordering countries through the program.
Up to this point, the program has been made possible through long-term donor funding and cooperation with partner organizations and host governments in the region. WFP has made a direct appeal for donations and cooperation in order to overcome the current funding crisis and allow for the continuation of this critical food voucher program.
Photo courtesy of European Commission DG ECHO.