A billion dollars required to feed displaced Syrians

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A Syrian family receives food aid at a WFP distribution point. [Photo: WFP/John Wreford]

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says it will require an additional US$725 million over the next six months to meet the cost of feeding millions of Syrian displaced by the ongoing fighting.

The agency has already spent close to US$ 300 million to secure food for internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring countries.

WFP says the additional funding will secure food supplies for up to 4 million Syrians displaced inside the country and a further 2.6 million Syrian refugees who have fled into neighbouring countries.

The agency says it was scaling up its operations inside Syria to reach as many families as possible, despite a deteriorating security situation and restricted access.

Amir Abdulla is WFP's Deputy Executive Director.

"These are huge numbers; they are not sustainable over the very long term which is why we hope that there will be a solution to the situation inside Syria. This size and nature of operations coming on top of many other things that continue. The World food programme is currently reaching people in Sudan, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sahel, the horn of Africa, all of those needs continue and when you add an operating cost of nearly a billion dollars a year on top of that, you really do start to reach a situation that where these things cannot be funded through normal mechanisms and we hope that the world will respond as millions of Syrians displaced in their own country and refugees in neighbouring countries basically have little else to rely on at this time." 

WFP says it will be requiring at least 36 million dollars each week to provide food to displaced Syrians.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Radio Geneva.

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