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WFP Launches Plan To Assist Syrians Affected By Conflict In 2015

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18 December 2014. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) appealed today in Berlin for close to US$1.5 billion in 2015 to feed over 6.5 million Syrians displaced inside their country and sheltering in neighbouring countries.

“Over the past four years, we have averted a hunger crisis for the most vulnerable Syrians. In 2015, we must protect against a hunger crisis while also building Syrians’ resilience and their ability to cope with the challenges that they face – as well as providing support to host communities who have opened their homes to receive them,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Emergency Coordinator for the Syria crisis.

The appeal is a part of the United Nations launch of the Syria Strategic Response Plan and the Regional Refugee and Resilience plan for 2015.

“WFP will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with host communities, NGO partners and sister agencies in addressing the most vital needs of vulnerable Syrians displaced in their country and in neighbouring countries,” Hadi said, speaking to UN and government officials during the Berlin launch of the 2015 plans.

WFP’s Programmes in Syria in 2015

In 2015, WFP will keep focusing on life-saving food assistance inside Syria by providing monthly food rations for 4.25 million people, mainly displaced families. During the year, WFP plans to move some families from general food distribution to Food-for-Work projects to build their resilience and help bring their lives back to normalcy. With Food-for-Work and vocational training projects, the total number assisted inside Syria is expected to rise to 4.5 million by the end of the year.

WFP will work in close coordination with other UN agencies and partners inside Syria with special food assistance programmes designed in connection with UNICEF’s ‘No Lost Generation’ and ‘Return to Learning’ strategies and FAO’s backyard kitchen gardening and poultry production projects.

WFP will also expand school feeding inside Syria to reach 500,000 students in areas with high concentration of displaced people and will scale up efforts to fight malnutrition by providing supplementary feeding for around 30,000 acutely malnourished children particularly in hard-to-reach areas. Around 240,000 children will receive specialized nutrition products in districts where the acute malnutrition rates are above five percent.

More than 15,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers will continue to benefit from WFP’s food voucher programme with a plan to expand further in areas where the market and security situations allow.

WFP’s Programmes for Syrian Refugees in 2015

In neighbouring countries, WFP will expand its assistance through electronic vouchers – also known as e-cards – to 2.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. The e-cards are similar to debit cards. Each month, they are loaded with an average of US$27 per family member, to be redeemed against a list of food items including fresh produce. The system boosts the local economy of host communities. So far, WFP has injected close to US$1 billion in the local economies of the neighbouring countries.

WFP requires an immediate US$339 million to support operations in Syria and the five neighbouring countries for the first three months of 2015.

“We are entirely funded by voluntary contributions from donor countries, individuals and private donors. Our appeals for funding are based entirely on the needs of vulnerable Syrians,” said Hadi. “We have always relied heavily on our traditional donors and today we appeal to the whole world to come together for the Syrian people so that no child, woman or man goes hungry.”

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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. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

Follow WFP on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

Photo caption: In 2015, WFP will keep focusing on life-saving food assistance inside Syria like the nutrition products given to ten-year-old Omar. Photo: WFP/Dina Elkassaby

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