ALERT: Funding Is Running Out for Syrian Refugees

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A Syrian refugee family in a crowded refugee camp in Erbil. Iraq is one of several countries neighboring Syria that is hosting part of the nearly 2 million refugees. Now, families like these may not be able to receive food from the UN. (Erik Gustafson/EPIC)

“But the fact is the Syrian crisis is a very complex crisis. And it’s just going from bad to worse. It has taken too long. We understand that the suffering of the people also has increased. And the international community must stand by the Syrian people until this crisis is over. We, they really cannot be left alone during this misery.”

-Muhannad Hadi, World Food Programme’s emergency coordinator for Syria

This week, both NPR and the Washington Times are reporting on an alarming new development: the World Food Programme (WFP) doesn’t have enough funding to continue providing desperately needed food vouchers to Syrian refugees.

Listen to NPR’s coverage on Morning Edition here.

How could this happen? Guy Taylor with the Washington Times reports that many wealthy donor countries have failed to fulfill their original pledges to aid, leaving the UN scrambling to continue providing services to refugees. Taylor writes,

“According to OCHA documents published this week, [Kuwait, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia] have collectively come up some $335 million short of what they’ve promised at international conferences on Syria since the civil war began more than three years ago. Separately, the European Union has delivered $97 million less than what its officials have pledged.”

WFP’s Muhannad Hadi urges donors to contribute what they pledged so Syrian families do not starve, especially with the onset of harsh winter conditions. The food vouchers provided by WFP are used by refugees who have fled to neighboring countries to purchase food and prepare meals. The abrupt cuts in these programs could affect all of the nearly 2 million Syrian refugees. WFP requires $64 million in immediate funding to resume providing services.

It is crucial for the lives of these families that funding comes through as promised. Join us in urging the international community to take action now and fulfill their pledges to save the lives of those in need who have fled Syria’s civil war.