Conflict in Idleb Disrupts WFP Food Distributions in Syria’s Northwest

Photo: WFP/Marwa Awad
Published February 14, 2020

CAIRO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) continues to provide emergency food assistance to people in desperate need in northwest Syria despite escalating hostilities which this week caused a 24-hour break in distributions.

WFP and partners face increasingly challenging conditions in northwest Syria and on Tuesday were forced to temporarily stop distributions because the recent upsurge in hostilities disrupted the movement of trucks carrying supplies into the region from Turkey.

“We are deeply concerned about the fate of thousands of families who had to leave their homes in freezing winter temperatures in search for safety in camps that are already overcrowded,” WFP Regional Director for MENA, Central Asia and Eastern Europe Muhannad Hadi. “In Syria, civilians continue to pay the price for the ongoing conflict.”

Heavy bombardment in the city of Atareb over the past few days spurred significant population displacement. So far, airstrikes and armed clashes in northwest Syria have displaced over 800,000 people since December 2019 – 80 percent of whom are women and children.

Families are moving north towards already overcrowded camps near the Syria-Turkey border. More than 140,000 people have already been displaced this week.

Many families were forced to flee on foot in the middle of winter, with temperatures at night reaching 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the past nine years of conflict, people across northwest Syria have already been displaced multiple times and rely heavily on humanitarian assistance.

WFP has prepositioned food inside northwest Syria to support growing needs.

WFP and its partners launched in December an immediate response operation to provide food to all those displaced. Since January 1st, WFP has provided emergency ready-to-eat food rations to more than 300,000 displaced people. This food can be eaten without cooking and is light to carry, so it supports families as they move from towns to camps in search of safety.

In addition, WFP partners have distributed to monthly food assistance to nearly 900,000 people.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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For more information please contact (email address:

  • Jessica Lawson, WFP/Damascus, Mob. + 963 965 077 834
  • Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Tel.+20 106 663 4522
  • David Orr, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 3402466831
  • Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/ Geneva, Mob. +41 79 842 8057
  • Shada Moghraby, WFP/New York, Mob. +1 929 289 98 67