After eleven years of conflict, multiple shocks have combined to push a record number of Syrian families into hunger, poverty and food insecurity.
Conflict, displacement, a severe economic downturn and the declining value of the Syrian Pound have pushed families beyond their limits and affected the lives and nutritional status of some of the country’s most vulnerable people, including women and children. Severe humanitarian needs persist across the country and the majority of Syrians no longer know where their next meal will come from.
Families require urgent support to meet their needs and rebuild their lives.
WFP estimates that 12.4 million Syrians – almost 60% of the population - are now food insecure. This is an increase of 4.5 million in one year alone and the highest number ever recorded.
The price of basic food items continues to soar to unprecedented levels. To cope, families have been forced to adopt detrimental measures to cope. A survey completed by the World Food Programme reveals that some families are cutting down from three meals per day to two, there is an increase in the number of people purchasing food on credit and families are selling assets and livestock to generate additional income.
WFP provides life-saving humanitarian assistance to 5.6 million people in Syria each month. This includes families who require emergency food during conflicts and displacement, and also those who need help to improve their nutrition and take ownership of their food security. Each month WFP supports children across the country to eat healthy meals and snacks at school, mothers and children to eat more nutritious diets, and families to gain new skills to earn an income and create brighter futures.
What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the Syria emergency
WFP provides lifesaving food to 4.8 million people each month across all 14 governates of Syria. This includes distributing emergency food assistance to families in northwest Syria to help them to meet their immediate needs in times of crisis.
Resilience and livelihoods
Livelihood and resilience projects are a core part of WFP’s humanitarian response in Syria, designed to protect and restore families’ livelihoods and food security, strengthen resilience to shocks, and help to restore local economies. These activities provide beneficiaries with the skills and infrastructure they need to become self-sufficient and take ownership of their own food needs.
Millions of Syrian children have had their educations interrupted by conflict, and WFP’s school feeding programme is helping to avoid a lost generation by providing students a powerful incentive to attend class. Each day, hundreds of thousands of children know they will receive a healthy meal or snack from WFP that will help them to concentrate, stay healthy and reach their full potential.
WFP’s nutrition activities support pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls, as well as children under 5 to prevent and address malnutrition and micro-nutrient deficiencies. Mothers and children receive specialized nutritious food to meet their unique needs, electronic vouchers so they can purchase more diverse diets, and regular monitoring to ensure they are becoming stronger and healthier.
WFP is struggling to meet the urgent food needs of millions of people in Syria and in neighbouring countries every month. Due to funding shortfalls in Syria, WFP has already been forced to reduce the calories in the food basket. Given the 4 months procurement lead time to have the commodities in-country ready for distribution, WFP requires US$ 365.8 million by June 2022 to ensure that families can continue to access lifesaving food assistance.
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