AMMAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) dispatched food to a record-breaking number of 4.1 million people inside war-ravaged Syria in August due to improved access with increased cross-line operations within Syria and more cross-border convoys.
Over the last six weeks, WFP and partners crossed lines to reach more than 580,000 people, more than four times the 137,000 people reached in the preceding six weeks.
Since July 25, a total of five cross-border convoys, via the Bab Al Salam crossing from Turkey and Al Ramtha from Jordan, carried food rations including rice, lentils, oil, pasta, bulgur, canned food, wheat flour, beans, salt and sugar for 69,500 people in the hard-to-reach areas of Aleppo, Idleb, Quneitra and Da’ra governorates.
The deliveries come in the wake of the passage of Security Council resolution 2165, which authorized the movement of United Nations humanitarian aid into Syria through four border crossings.
“We are reaching more people every day with urgently needed food assistance – many of them have been going hungry for months,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Regional Emergency Coordinator for the Syria crisis. “We will build on these gains in the coming weeks and months and hope that all parties to the conflict will continue to facilitate our access to the women, children and families that remain out of our reach behind conflict lines,” he added.
Widespread fighting and insecurity continues to hinder WFP’s access to many parts of the country, however, particularly in the northern governorates of Al-Hassakeh, Deir-ez-Zor and Ar-Raqqa. WFP is by far the largest humanitarian agency operating inside Syria and, working with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and over two dozen other partners, aims to support 4.25 million people in need of food assistance across all 14 governorates every month.
WFP needs to raise US$35 million dollars a week to meet the food needs of families affected by the conflict in Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.