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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

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