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WFP launches aid appeal

By JT - Dec 04,2014 - Last updated at Dec 04,2014

AMMAN – After being forced to suspend food assistance to nearly 1.7 million Syrian refugees earlier this week, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday launched an “ambitious” 72-hour campaign to raise $64 million which will reinstate refugee food vouchers in December. 

The three-day campaign appeals to members of the public to donate $1 towards WFP’s food aid for Syrian refugees, according to a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times by the humanitarian aid agency. 

“Even one dollar can make a difference. We’re saying to people: ‘For you it’s a dollar, for them it’s a lifeline.’  We know that people care – and we’re asking them to show it, by giving even this small amount to Syrians in need,” the statement quoted WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin as saying. “All it takes is $1 from 64 million people.” 

People around the world are being asked to follow the link: wfp.org/forsyrianrefugees and visit WFP’s website wfp.org to donate online. 

Twitter and Facebook users are also being asked to swap their profile picture with a “badge” representing the “1 Dollar for Syrian Refugees” campaign. Badges can be found on wfp.org/forsyrianrefugees.
WFP said its Syria emergency operations are in critical need of funding.

On Monday the agency announced that it is suspending its food voucher programme for Syrians in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt, affecting nearly 1.7 million refugees.

The refugees use electronic vouchers — worth around $30 per family member — to buy food in local shops.  

Without WFP vouchers, many families will go hungry. For refugees already struggling to survive the harsh winter, the consequences of halting this assistance is devastating, the statement said. 

WFP requires a total of $64 million immediately to reinstate the voucher programme during the month of December. If funding arrives this month, the agency said it will immediately resume assistance. 

Since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, WFP has succeeded, despite the fighting and problems of access, in meeting the food needs of millions of displaced people inside Syria and up to 1.8 million refugees in neighbouring countries. 

In Jordan, around 440,000 Syrian refugees would be affected by the suspension, according to Shaza Moghraby, WFP spokesperson in the Kingdom.

Moghraby said on Monday that WFP will continue providing assistance to those residing in camps as they are identified as the most vulnerable, but those in host communities will not receive the aid.

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