“The suspension of the UN Food Programme to Syrian refugees is a genuine disaster, as it will seriously threaten their health and safety and could even cause fresh tensions in the host countries,” declared Jean-Marie Bockel today, in his capacity as PACE rapporteur on “Syrian refugees: how to organise and support international assistance”. He continued “Tens of thousands of families are almost entirely dependent on this aid and this decision can only make them more vulnerable.”
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011 some 3.2 million people have taken refuge in neighbouring countries: 1.1 million in Lebanon, 1.09 million in Turkey, 618,000 in Jordan, 225,000 in Iraq and 137,000 in Egypt.
“Without the coupons distributed by the UN World Food Programme – the WFP – many families will be unable to buy enough food, not to mention the fact that Syrian refugees in the camps and the informal settlements throughout the region are ill-prepared for the winter cold, particularly in Lebanon and Jordan,” the rapporteur underlined.
“The WFP's food assistance is vital and I call on the entire international community to lend its support so this programme can continue to be financed,” he concluded.