DAMASCUS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is delivering urgently-needed food across the Syria-Jordan border to assist thousands of Syrians displaced from their homes since the launch of a Syrian government offensive to regain opposition-held areas in the south of the country.
The fighting in Dara’a has led to the closure of supply routes, causing an increase in the price of fuel and other basic supplies. However, WFP is reaching affected families via the Ar-Ramtha border crossing between Jordan and Syria, in accordance with the UN resolution allowing the delivery of humanitarian assistance to areas not accessible from inside Syria.
“We had to run during shelling and destruction to get to this camp,” said Nidal, a man displaced from Lajat village. “We’re sleeping in the open air, under the trees, in the mosques and schools. Those lucky to find a tent have to share it with four or five other families. We need all the help we can get.”
WFP has so far delivered ready-to-eat food to more than 30,000 people sheltering in villages and makeshift camps. These rations provide enough food for one week and include canned foods such as tuna, chicken and beans that do not require cooking. To help prevent malnutrition in children under the age of two, WFP is also providing specialized nutritional products.
Over the past week, nearly 50,000 people fled their homes in northern Dara’a to escape bombardment, finding shelter in makeshift camps in the south of the governorate as well as in Quneitra governorate. Retaliatory shelling is also affecting the neighbouring governorate of Swaida.
“WFP acted quickly to assist the thousands of people displaced in the south who are in desperate need,” said Corinne Fleischer, Representative and Country Director of WFP in Syria. “We’re ready to scale up to reach more vulnerable families through cross-border deliveries or from inside Syria if supply routes open.”
WFP continues to call on all parties involved in the conflict to allow immediate, safe and secure access to all areas in Syria, particularly those that remain besieged by warring parties.
# # #
The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.
For more information, please contact (email address: email@example.com):
Marwa Awad, WFP/Damascus, Mob. +963 958 882 900
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 66634352
Dina ElKassaby, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 15218882
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057