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WFP Launches Emergency Operation To Reach Syrian Refugees

Thousands of Syrian refugees will receive food assistance as part of an emergency operation launched by WFP in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. For many, it will come in the form of food vouchers which families can use to buy food on local markets. WFP plans on reaching over 120,000 refugees with assistance by the end of the year.

CAIRO—WFP has launched an emergency operation to reach tens of thousands of Syrian refugees with food assistance in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

"Many of these families left everything behind to escape the conflict," said WFP Regional Refugee Emergency Coordinator for Syria Philip Ward. "Now their savings are exhausted and they have no other way to support themselves without our assistance."

Assessments have shown that food is among the most pressing needs among Syrian refugees. To help them meet those needs, WFP will be providing many families with food vouchers that they can to buy food at local markets.

The vouchers can be used to buy fresh produce such as milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs, which are not ordinarily given out as rations. They also help to boost the local economy.

WFP often uses vouchers when food is available in the market but people do not have enough money to buy it. 

In Lebanon, for example, throughout June and July, WFP will assist around 15,000 Syrians through food vouchers in the Bekaa Valley.

Hot meals and other food assistance will be provided for new arrivals and families who still on the move in countries such as Jordan. In Iraq, food assistance will be provided until vouchers are introduced in September.

The emergency operation is part of the United Nations Regional Response led by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). It covers six months, reaching 67,000 people in July and increasing gradually to reach over 120,000 people in December.