News / Middle East

UN: 1 Million Syrians Need Emergency Food Aid

A woman asks a Free Syrian Army fighter to sell her bread, in Maaret Misreen, near Idlib, Syria, December 13, 2012.
A woman asks a Free Syrian Army fighter to sell her bread, in Maaret Misreen, near Idlib, Syria, December 13, 2012.
The United Nations said Tuesday that about one million Syrians are living without adequate food supplies and that serious fuel shortages and rising violence are disrupting aid distribution across the war-torn country.
 
According to U.N. World Food Program spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs, the agency is distributing rations to about 1.5 million people in Syria every month, the vast majority internally displaced.  That is well below the 2.5 million people in need of assistance.
 
The lack of fuel and security in Syria has significantly curtailed the ability of the WFP's main local partner, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, from distributing aid.
 
"The Syrian Red Crescent is stretched to the limit and has no more capacity to expand further.  That is why we need more implementing partners, NGOs, on the ground to distribute humanitarian food assistance," Byrs said.

Only a handful of aid agencies are authorized to distribute relief goods, some of which lack adequate staff, fuel or materials. Increasing violence has forced ships to use the Lebanese port of Beirut instead of the Syrian port of Tartus, Byrs said.
 
Oxfam, ranked among the top international aid agencies in the world, is not present in Syria, but runs programs for Syrian refugees from neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.
 
The group's Beirut representative, Caroline Gluck, said Oxfam is "under discussion with [potential] local partners" to try to establish a presence in Syria.  She said a handful of other organizations may be there in an unofficial capacity.
 
The United Nations has appealed for $1.5 billion to help save millions of Syrians suffering from what it called a rapidly worsening humanitarian situation.  But Byrs said the U.N. call has gone largely unfulfilled.
 
"Apart from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and a few local charities, we have no other NGOs or people ready to do the job," she said.
 
Millions in need
 
The U.N. estimates four million people in Syria need urgent humanitarian aid, including an estimated two million displaced from their homes by fighting between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels trying to topple him.
 
The number of registered Syrian refugees in neighboring countries has increased from 500,000 to nearly 600,000 in the past month, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
 
The United Nations estimates 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011, when President Assad began suppressing what started as peaceful pro-democracy protests.  The protests evolved into an armed rebellion aimed at ending the Assad family's four-decade authoritarian rule.

Mark Snowiss

Mark Snowiss is a Washington D.C.-based multimedia reporter.  He has written and edited for various media outlets including Pacifica and NPR affiliates in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @msnowiss and on Google Plus

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark Burkley from: Highlands, Louisville, KY
January 08, 2013 10:31 PM
Well, here is the chance for this world to prove that love of Life is more important than love of Power...


by: Anonymous
January 08, 2013 7:20 PM
The largest enemy to Syria is Bashar al Assad. The world should spoil these people with food and medical supplies and show we care more than Bashar al Assad does. He is just an occupier now implementing terror in a campaign to try and scare the people. Each day the opposition is getting stronger and stronger, more and more Syrian people are united against Bashar al Assad. He doesn't realise the people of Syria make the country, not him. The entire world is anxious to see his downfall.


by: Mia from: US
January 08, 2013 7:12 PM
Would additional resources help at all? Can we help by donating somewhere?


by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 08, 2013 3:44 PM
This horrendous tragedy just continues to grow unabatted. The UNSC needs to re-address the situation. Russia and China refused to authorize/vetoed stronger action, last time; they need to rethink their opposition to a forced humanitarian relief intervention. Humanitarian corridors need to be opened, with safe distribution areas along the corridors. We are seeing a new genocide in progress. I do realize that the Western countries have tried to somehow resolve the situation, but given the very bad Winter, this year, day by day the sit is more critical. Relief action for the civilian population is clearly needed. In this case silence is not golden.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid