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WFP makes cuts in food assistance for Syrian refugees

By JT - Jul 02,2015 - Last updated at Jul 02,2015

AMMAN — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has made cuts in food assistance for vulnerable Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon “because of a severe lack of funding”, the agency said in a statement.

“Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse, we are forced yet again to make yet more cuts,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP regional director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. “Refugees were already struggling to cope with what little we could provide.”

In July, WFP has decided to halve the value of food vouchers, or “e-cards”, in Lebanon, providing only $13.5 per person per month. In Jordan, WFP fears that if it does not receive immediate funding by August, it will have to suspend all assistance to Syrian refugees living outside camps, leaving some 440,000 people with no food, the statement said. 

WFP is funded entirely by contributions from governments, companies and private individuals. But its regional refugee operation is currently 81 per cent underfunded and immediately requires $139 million to continue helping desperate refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq through September.

 

“We are extremely concerned about the impact these cuts will have on refugees and the countries that host them,” Hadi added. “Families are taking extreme measures to cope such as pulling their children out of school, skipping meals and getting into debt to survive. The long-term effects of this could be devastating.”

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