The UN World Food Programme (WFP), in a report released today, says it will expand its hunger relief mission in Syria to feed 2.5 million people. Previously, WFP had been feeding 1.5 million people monthly inside the war-torn country.
The number of hungry Syrians is rising as bread shortages continue. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent just released figures that showed over 4 million people requesting food assistance. WFP says this figure needs to be verified.
Weather and insecurity are limiting WFP's ability to deliver food. Funding also continues to be an issue as US $135 million is still needed for operations inside Syria. WFP relies on voluntary donations from governments and the public.
For the many Syrians who have fled to other countries time is running short. In Jordan, at the Al Za’atri refugee camp, "many families lack tent heaters, winter clothing and winterization materials." Temperatures have plummeted and flooding recently displaced families at the camp.
More cold temperatures are predicted. Refugees are arriving daily while WFP and other aid groups are low on funding to supply food and shelter.
Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR) says, "Za'atri camp has experienced a massive increase in arrival numbers, with 8,821 Syrian refugees crossing the borders in the past 5 days."
UNHCR is only 18 percent funded as it tries to provide shelter and clothing to Syrians in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq. Food aid needs will also increase and WFP is facing low funding for its mission to feed Syrian refugees who have fled to these countries.
WFP has set up a Syria Hunger Relief Fund where you can donate.