The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said today there are four million Syrians who cannot access basic foods due to the ongoing conflict. In October, WFP plans to increase its food aid inside Syria to reach all in need.
WFP said today, "Syria’s food security situation has significantly deteriorated over the past year and agricultural production will further decline over the next 12 months if the present conflict continues."
The UN food agency says it fell short of reaching its goal last month of feeding three million Syrians because of the escalating violence. Roads have been closed and checkpoints slow the movement of food.
Bread is in extremely short supply. Special foods like Plumpy'Doz have been brought into the country by WFP and UNICEF in order to treat child malnutrition. The effects of malnutrition are lasting physical and mental damage and this can spread over an entire generation of Syrians.
The scaling up of the relief operation will depend on access to all areas in need. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent and other community organizations work with WFP on the ground to distribute the food. Funding is another issue with WFP requiring US $30 million a week to sustain the relief effort. WFP depends on voluntary funding from governments and the public.
Meanwhile, the number of Syrians who have fled the country has surpassed two million. WFP is providing food aid to the refugees in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt. WFP provides food vouchers to refugees and also school feeding for children.