• Hunger in South Sudan Could Almost Double, Driving Tens of Thousands to Places Like Darfur (For the Media) 

    Around 5 million people – nearly half the population of South Sudan – could face acute hunger in the next three months during the lean season, when traditionally hunger worsens. Too many people are unable to meet their food needs because of the combined effects of more than two years of fighting, a collapsing economy, high food prices and erratic rainfall. WFP urgently requires almost US$230 million to provide food and nutrition assistance over the next six months in South Sudan. This is a significant funding gap at a critical time of year: we need to scale up support during the lean season, and we need to pre-position lifesaving food in places that become inaccessible during the rainy season. The window of opportunity to reach those areas by road is closing rapidly, after which WFP will have to rely on costly air operations.

  • WFP reaching newly accessible areas in Iraq (For the Media)

    By the end of December, WFP aims to reach 1.6 million Iraqi Internally Displaced People (IDPs) across the country through food assistance and vouchers. Distributions that began in November are ongoing. WFP urgently requires US$31.8 million from now until May 2016 to continue to provide food assistance to conflict-affected Iraqis. A further US$25.1 million is needed to assist Syrian refugees in Iraq until May 2016.

  • Living in the Rubble, Ration Cuts Add to Despair in Syria (For the Media)

    Inside Syria, WFP has received only a fraction of its funding requirements so far in 2015. This has resulted in a significant decrease of the food ration to only 74% of its intended size, meaning that families have to eat smaller meals, less frequently. Critical funding shortages have forced WFP to halve the level of assistance provided to almost 1.3 million vulnerable Syrian refugees in the region. With the value of food vouchers reduced, most refugees are now living on around 50 cents a day. WFP immediately needs US$278 million to continue providing a lifeline to Syrians affected by the conflict until the end of the year. Sustainable and predictable funding is needed to ensure that WFP assistance continues. Despite positive indications from some donors, WFP’s funding level remains far from adequate. The suffering of the millions affected by the Syria crisis will only be alleviated when a viable political solution to the conflict is reached, allowing families to return safely to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. 

  • Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Struggle to Fight Hunger as WFP Food Vouchers are Reduced (For the Media)

    BEIRUT – The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme Ertharin Cousin concluded a visit to Jordan and Lebanon on Thursday by calling upon the international community to continue support Syrian refugees displaced in neighbouring countries and appealing to the world not to forget this crisis. 

    Major funding shortfalls forced the agency to cut food assistance by up to fifty percent.  During her four-day visit, Cousin met with Syrian refugees and government officials, bringing attention to the plight of millions facing extreme hardship as a result of these cuts. 

    Since the beginning of the year, WFP has faced critical funding shortages that forced it to reduce the level of the assistance it provides to some 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

  • WFP Forced to Make Deeper Cuts in Food Assistance for Syrian Refugees Due to Lack of Funding (For the Media)

    AMMAN – The United Nations World Food Programme is being forced to implement deeper cuts in food assistance for vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan because of a severe lack of funding. In July, WFP will halve the value of food vouchers, or “e-cards,” in Lebanon, providing only US$13.50 per person per month. In Jordan, WFP fears that if it does not receive immediate funding by August, it will have to suspend all assistance to Syrian refugees living outside camps, leaving some 440,000 people with no food. WFP is funded entirely by contributions from governments, companies and private individuals. But its regional refugee operation is currently 81 percent underfunded and immediately requires US$139 million to continue helping desperate refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq through September.