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WFP to cut food assistance in Syria from January 2024 due to insufficient funding

December 5, 2023 at 9:16 pm

Children play games as Syrian refugees struggle with cold weather while winter approaches in Idlib, Syria on November 22, 2023 [İzettin Kasım – Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has announced that its food assistance across Syria will end from January 2024, amid a severe decline in funding for the organisation that has impaired its operations in the country in recent years.

In an announcement by the WFP this week, it insisted that its donors are unable to provide the level of support to maintain its operations in Syria, particularly due to the record level of humanitarian needs it must cater to on a global scale.

The UN body acknowledged that its decision would affect millions throughout the war-torn country, in which over 12 million Syrians remain in need of the food assistance amid increasing hunger. It assured, however, that it would continue to support families affected by natural disasters via smaller programmes, as well as maintaining some child nutrition and livelihood support schemes for farmers in the country.

The announcement comes after struggles by the WFP, in recent years, to secure sufficient funding for the maintaence of its programme in the country, with officials warning in September that the Fund required $134 million in order to provide food assistance for the next six months to combat hunger and malnutrition for 3.2 million people within Syria.

The decision and issues with funding comes at a time when crises, food shortages and conflict have been demanding ever more attention and food assistance in other regions throughout the world, such as Gaza, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

READ: WFP: Funding cuts put 24m people at risk of emergency levels of hunger