WFP Syria Country Brief, February 2017
The Annual Report for the Syria operation was released in February.
WFP delivered food assistance for 3.5 million people. In total, 30 percent of the assistance was delivered to high-conflict areas through cross-border, cross-line and air deliveries.
UN organized peace talks took place in Geneva, but no major breakthroughs were observed.
An increase in fighting in Dar’a governorate has resulted in new displacements as well as a halt to cross-border activities from Jordan for the majority of February.
Funding is urgently needed for both the PRRO and the SO in order to avoid any gaps in coverage.
WFP provided food assistance for 3.5 million people in 13 out of the 14 Syrian governorates in February. Of these, 626,000 people in opposition-held areas of Dar’a, Quneitra, Aleppo, Idleb and Hama governorates were reached with food assistance by cross-border partners operating from Turkey and Jordan (18 percent of total deliveries).
During the month, WFP participated in two inter-agency convoys to hard-to-reach areas in Homs governorate, Talbiseh (84,000 people) and Ar-Rastan (107,500 people).
Observations from WFP staff joining the Ar-Rastan convoy noted that the price of bread, an essential staple in the Syrian diet, was seven times higher than Homs city and that current capacity of bakeries is only covering 50 percent of needs.
Air operations to Deir Ezzor city and Al-Hasakeh governorate continued during the reporting period. By the end of February, a total of 345 humanitarian airlifts had been completed to Al-Hasakeh and 45 percent of the volume transported were inter-agency cargo.
UN-led peace talks took place in Geneva during the last week of February and concluded on 3 March without any significant breakthroughs.
As of early March, approximately 17,000 people have been displaced from the rebel-held part of Dar’a city in the governorate of Dar’a due to heavy clashes between government forces and armed opposition groups in early February. The majority of the displaced families sought refuge in surrounding farmlands and other rural areas. So far, WFP has provided ready-to-eat rations to more than half of the displaced people and WFP partners started a rapid needs assessment to determine needs. This is part of an overall increase in unrest in Dar’a governorate, where heavy fighting between armed opposition groups and ISILaffiliated armed groups in south-western rural Dar’a (Yarmouk Valley) escalated. This led to additional displacement and WFP has provided ready-to-eat rations for 8,600 people in several locations.
Due to the deteriorating security situation in the south, cross-border deliveries from Jordan were on hold for most of the month of February. However, deliveries resumed as of early March.
Since November 2016, WFP has progressively scaled up its response in Aleppo city in parallel with a rising rate of returnees to the formerly besieged neighbourhoods and the subsequent growing humanitarian needs. By the end of February, WFP has provided ready-to-eat parcels (RTE) for about 80,000 returnees and IDPs in the eastern parts of the city through ten new food distribution points, as well as food rations and RTEs for 11,000 IDPs who sought refuge in the western parts of the city. WFP also scaled up its bread assistance providing 108,000 IDPs and returnees in eastern parts of the city with fresh bread each day. In addition, daily bread distributions reached 14,000 people in Jibreen IDP shelter and the Kurdish controlled neighbourhood of Sheikh Maqsoud.
WFP Syria will transition to an Interim Country Strategic Plan (ICSP) as of 1 January 2018. The ICSP will be mapped to the activities and priorities outlined in the PRRO for 2018.