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Halted food programme for Syrian refugees to resume next week

By Khetam Malkawi - Dec 09,2014 - Last updated at Dec 09,2014

AMMAN — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will resume its food assistance programme for Syrian refugees in the Kingdom next Monday, said one of the UN agency’s officials.

Jonathan Campbell, WFP emergency coordinator for the Syria Refugee Operation in Jordan, said in remarks to The Jordan Times over the phone on Tuesday that the programme has received donations from the public, private sector and governments including Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway.

Last Monday WFP announced that it has been forced to suspend a critical programme providing vouchers to more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.

In the Kingdom, 440,000 Syrian refugees have been affected by the suspension, out of more than 600,000 registered refugees. Those living in camps were excluded from the decision.

“We need $17.5 million in order to provide food assistance for this number of refugees for the month of December,” Shaza Mughraby, the WFP spokesperson in Amman, told The Jordan Times.

In addition, she noted that the programme has collected $23 million through #ADollarALifeline social media campaign that was launched for 72 hours last week.

After halting food aid to nearly 1.7 million Syrian refugees on December 1, WFP launched an ambitious social media fund-raising campaign using the hashtag #ADollarALifeline that raised millions from individuals, the private sector and governments.  

According to a WFP statement, among individuals contributing online through wfp.org, the third largest number by nationality were Syrians, after Americans and Canadians.  

“Almost 14,000 individuals and private sector donors in 158 countries contributed $1.8 million,” the statement said, adding that as a result of the campaign, WFP has to date raised more than $80 million — including contributions from governments — surpassing the goal to raise $64million in December and permitting the full value of the e-cards to be distributed to refugees this month, with some funds carrying through to January.

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