WFP faces severe funding challenges to feed millions of Syrians

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Syrian refugees Bedda and her son – WFP/Marco Frattini

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is facing severe challenges in expanding its emergency operation to feed millions of conflict-affected people.

This, as a result of funding shortages and comes as the Syrian crisis is into its second year.

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said "This is a global crisis that requires a global response so that we can meet the growing and urgent needs of Syrians".

She expressed gratitude "for the generous contributions …. received so far from around 30 government donors including Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. But she warns the "needs are escalating".

She said the UN food agency's plans to reach 2.5 million people inside Syria, and over a million refugees in neighboring countries, are threatened by the lack of resources. WFP needs an urgent US$156 million to continue its work to feed Syrians from now until June.

WFP started its emergency operation in Syria in August 2011 and has so far distributed more than 83,000 metric tons of food to millions of Syrians across the country, using trucks and 55 ships.

So far, WFP has distributed over one million food vouchers and half a million food parcels in the neighbouring countries. Over three million meals in three months were distributed to Syrian refugees in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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