World Food Programme to stop feeding Syrian refugees due to lack of funds
The UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos announced on Tuesday that the World Food Programme (WFP) would be obliged to stop distributing food to Syrian refugees within two months should it did not receive additional funds.
During a meeting at the UN Security Council, Al-Quds newspaper quoted Amos as saying that, "Without additional funds, the WFP will be obliged to halt all operations within two months," just as the harshness of winter is arriving.
She said that the WFP had already reduced food aid portions in order to cover more beneficiaries and to last as long as possible.
"Winter is coming and basic items are urgently needed in order to help protect people from the cold," Amos warned. She added that Syria's neighbouring countries are also in urgent need of support in order to continue being able to receive more refugees, as the conflict in Syria continues.
The WFP announced in the middle of September that it would reduce its food supplies to around six million Syrian refugees due to a shortage of funds, reiterating the need for an additional $352 million in support before the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, Amos said that around 600,000 Syrians in the east, in Deir Al-Zour, and north, in Al-Raqqa, have been unable to get food aid for the third month in a row, due to the on-going violence.
She added that tens of thousands of Syrians might yet flee from the country if the Islamic State continued to progress in the areas north of Aleppo.
Estimates showed that more than 160,000 Syrians have escaped from Aleppo during the last few days alone, fleeing towards Turkey.