At the close of its February dispatch cycle, WFP was able to provide food to 1.7 million people, against a planned figure of 1.75 million—reaching 97 percent. In February alone, this figure represented over 413 trucks moving throughout Syria to all fourteen governorates. WFP’s logistical capacity in Syria is highly developed, especially considering the challenged and volatile security environment. WFP staff and contractors continue to be exposed to personal risk in their resolve to provide humanitarian assistance to an ever-increasingly vulnerable population. Food is a lifeline for vulnerable Syrians affected by the conflict and can mean the difference between survival and destitution, the difference between leaving one’s home, or staying.
Despite security threats and attacks on its warehouses and trucks, WFP will continue to increase the extent of its operations in Syria. This month, WFP will attempt to reach 2 million people, doubling its caseload over the last six months. In April, this figure will be further increased to 2.5 million beneficiaries, a caseload equivalent to the population of Rome. In order to cope with this increase, WFP is expanding its partnerships with local NGOs.
As part of its service provision to the wider humanitarian community in Syria, the Logistics Cluster, led by WFP, was able to assist Action Contre la Faim by transporting three trucks worth of hygiene kits to Al-Hasakeh in the east of the country. Al-Hasakeh is particularly challenged by insecurity, making access difficult. In addition, a truck carrying 40 mt of hygiene kits and clothing items on behalf of UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO was dispatched to Aleppo in the north-west. The Logistics Cluster provides cost-free handling, transport and storage to the wider humanitarian community in Syria, reaching all areas despite significant challenges to access.
As fresh food stuffs become less available, WFP has started providing special food, high in nutritional content, to help meet of the dietary needs of babies and children up to three years of age. Working with the Ministry of Health, WFP will cover the needs of an initial 45,000 children in collective centers (schools, places of worship and social centres) in all governorates.