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UN airlifts life-saving food into Syria

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) today started airlifting food from Iraq into Northeast Syria to feed starving war victims. The food is for 30,000 displaced persons in Qamishli.

Recent assessments show that almost half the population inside Syria is having trouble getting enough food.
Recent assessments show that almost half the population inside Syria is having trouble getting enough food.
WFP/Dina Elkassaby

WFP did a similar airlift last year. The roads into Northeast Syria are simply not accessible due to the continuing civil war. Without the airlifts, food and other aid cannot reach the area.

Ertharin Cousin, WFP’s director, says “It is tragic to see the most vulnerable Syrians going hungry and paying the heavy price for a political conflict with no end in sight. We call upon all parties to provide us with continuous and unimpeded access across the country. WFP should be able to reach all those who need food assistance all the time.”

The airlift will bring rice, pasta and other foods as well as supplies from UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration.

WFP's plan was to feed over 4 million Syrians inside the war-torn country this month. However, the violence meant that only 3.6 million were able to receive rations.

Cousin adds, “The road to political stability and confidence building in Syria starts with an important step: ensuring no one dies because of a lack of food or medicine or from the cold when humanitarian workers are nearby but are not allowed in. Syrians must have their most basic needs met.”

WFP needs over US $ 2 billion this year to feed Syrians both inside the country as well as refugees throughout the Middle East. Funding is another major crisis as a delay in contributions will mean ration cuts or even suspension of programs.

WFP has set up a Syria Crisis Page with donation information