WFP helping fleeing Syrians asks supply routes be kept open

WFP\Alan Ali, hostilities in northeast Syria is leading tens of thousands of people to flee their homes

 DAMASCUS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has so far provided immediate food assistance to over 70,000 people fleeing towns in north-eastern Syria as a result of ongoing military operations.

 WFP, highly concerned for the safety of civilians in Syria, is asking for vital supply routes to be kept open and safe for humanitarian deliveries.

 “We are trying to reach as many people as possible and are despatching emergency food packages as tens of thousands are fleeing their areas every day,” said Corinne Fleischer, WFP Representative and Country Director in Syria.

 “WFP and other humanitarian agencies on the ground call on all parties to keep supply routes open and ensure unconditional, unimpeded and continuous access to people fleeing and those caught in the violence.”

 WFP is providing families in shelters with ready-to-eat food that does not require cooking while those staying with host families receive a regular food package. There are an estimated 130,000 people travelling to seek refuge in Hasakeh and Raqqa cities, but as many are staying with family or friends rather than in shelters, the total may be higher – and as fighting continues, the number is expected to rise in the next days.

 WFP, with partners on the ground, is working to identify and support those in need as well as to register families hosting displaced people in order to provide them with additional food as needed.    

 WFP has been helping over half a million people in north-eastern Syria every month. 4.3 million people across Syria received WFP food assistance in Sept.

 The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are preparing to support up to 400,000 people who may require assistance and protection in the coming period.