Creating new perspectives since 2009

Jordan urges WFP to reverse subsidy cuts to Syrian refugees

July 13, 2023 at 5:07 pm

Syrian refugees are seen as mud covers the refugee camp after heavy rain caused flood damaging their camp in Idlib, Syria on October 21, 2022 [Izzeddin Kasim/Anadolu Agency]

Jordan’s Foreign Minister called on the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday to reverse a decision to cut food subsidies to Syrian refugees by 1 August, Reuters reports.

“This is not on Jordan. It is on those who are cutting support. We can’t carry this burden alone,” Ayman Safadi said in a tweet.

“We urge WFP and others cutting subsidies to Syrian refugees to reverse decision,” he wrote.

Representatives of the World Food Programme did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The United Nations humanitarian agencies and other aid groups are struggling to keep up aid to Syrians as needs skyrocket and funding streams dry up.

READ: Syria still endures poverty despite relative calm and renewed Arab ties

More than 15 million people need aid across the country – a record number – and malnutrition rates are at an all-time high. But the UN said in June that its appeal for humanitarian work in Syria this year – $5.4 billion – had only been 11 per cent funded.

At the time, the WFP announced it would cut food aid to 2.5 million of the 5.5 million people it supports. It was not immediately clear if those figures included refugees outside of Syria’s borders.

Millions of Syrians have fled their homeland since conflict broke out there in 2011 following protests against the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad, who was then isolated across the region for his crackdown on demonstrations.

The Arab League welcomed Syria back into the fold earlier this year, and Arab countries say it is time for Syrians seeking refuge on their territory to go home.

Safadi said on Thursday that the UN “must work to enable voluntary return. Until then, its agencies must keep sufficient support.”

READ: TIMELINE – After years of war, Assad returns to Arab fold