DAMASCUS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) delivered desperately-needed food for over 80,000 people who have been stranded in five besieged Syrian towns, in a series of UN interagency convoys that took place throughout the night and were completed this morning.
“This marks a major humanitarian breakthrough in Syria, but we must remember that one-off and sporadic convoys can only provide temporary relief to hungry, desperate people,” said WFP’s Syria Country Director Jakob Kern. “People need to eat every single day. We hope that we can continue these deliveries and keep bringing relief to the most vulnerable people in all parts of the country.”
The humanitarian team on the ground witnessed people in Moadamiyeh looking thin and haggard and children looking small for their age. Moadamiyeh has been inaccessible for over a year and a half. Civilians in the besieged area have been living off grass and limited supplies of rice, which sells at prices up to fifty times higher than in Damascus, which is only a few kilometres away.
“We appeal to all parties to the conflict to continue facilitating full, sustained and unimpeded access to people in need across the country,” Kern added.
The interagency convoys also delivered medical supplies and equipment, vaccines, water and sanitation items in addition to WFP food to families who have been suffering the heavy burden of the conflict. The convoys arrived Wednesday night to Moadamiyeh, Zabadani and Madaya in Rural Damascus and Foah and Kefraya in Rural Idlib.
Each family in the five locations received two bags of wheat flour from WFP and other basic food items including rice, bulgur wheat, lentils, canned food and cooking oil – all of which have been in extremely low supply in all five locations for months. WFP also sent date bars that are fortified with vitamins and minerals as well as specialized nutritious foods that are used to treat and prevent malnutrition in children.
Across Syria, WFP continues to provide food to more than 4 million people every month and remains concerned about the humanitarian suffering of all Syrians living in hard-to-reach areas across the country.
Video: Contact Jonathan Dumont, WFP/Rome, Mob. +39 3402249140
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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For more information please contact:
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 15218882
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob. +1-646 525 9982
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993