The UN World Food Programme (WFP), in a report released today, says that food ration cuts quickly have a drastic impact on Syrian refugees. In September, WFP did an assessment on Syrian families in Jordan who were no longer receiving WFP assistance.
Low funding had forced WFP to stop providing food to these families. WFP says the “results were drastic, with the number of households with poor food consumption skyrocketing from 0 percent to 27 percent in a matter of weeks.” The families showed high incidences of withdrawing children from school and sending them to work.
The WFP study also showed more families considering leaving Jordan for Europe (20 percent) or heading back to Syria (26 percent). Clearly, the lack of food is a major factor behind the desperate journey some have undertaken to Europe in recent months. There is very little reserve for refugee families to fall back on. They need the support of WFP.
Fortunately, WFP has received new funding to provide food for the refugees in Jordan. They are now getting some food aid while funding lasts.
Um Abdo, a Syrian refugee in Mafraq explains, “My two children had to stop going to school, and were working 10 hours a day to make JOD 3 so we could survive. Now that the WFP assistance is back, they can stop working and start studying again.” Food is one of the few stabilizing forces for Syrian war victims.
WFP is voluntarily funded and is stretched on resources because of wars in Syria, Iraq and South Sudan. International funding needs to increase for WFP during this time of war and hunger emergencies. The Syria relief mission alone requires at least US $ 25 million a week.