USAID Provides Additional $65 million for Critical Food Assistance to Syrians

For Immediate Release

Friday, July 31, 2015
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The United States Agency for International Development announced today a $65 million contribution through the UN World Food Program (WFP) to allow the organization to continue to reach an estimated 4 million Syrians inside the country and approximately 1.6 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt. This contribution will help keep WFP programs operating through November and avert an imminent shutdown.

The United States is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian crisis, providing more than $4 billion to help millions of people inside Syria and beyond its borders receive food, urgent medical care, and much-needed relief supplies.

USAID has now given more than $1.2 billion to WFP for its Syrian operations – including more than $530 million for operations inside Syria and more than $693 million for operations benefiting Syrian refugees.

While USAID remains WFP’s largest donor for the Syria response, a lack of robust funding from the international community has forced WFP to reduce food voucher values by as much as half for refugees and lower the amount of food in monthly household parcels inside Syria. USAID continues to reach out to other donors regarding these critical funding shortages and urges all governments to fulfill unfunded pledges.

This new funding from USAID helped WFP avoid having to make additional program cuts, including curtailing all emergency food assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan living in host communities, which would have begun tomorrow.

“We have heard tragic stories of hungry refugees returning to war-torn Syria and taking children out of school to beg,” said Dina Esposito, Director of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace. “We hope this new funding will help mitigate such difficult choices and help Syrians as the winter months approach.”

Since 2013, the WFP voucher program, funded significantly by USAID, has provided critical food assistance to Syrian refugees while also contributing approximately $1 billion to the economies of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq, all nations who have so generously opened their doors to refugees. Inside Syria, WFP’s food parcel distributions have helped feed millions of conflict-affected people.