Government announces €1.5 million to support the World Food Programme in Syria25/3/15
Government announces €1.5 million to support the World Food Programme in Syria
Ireland is to provide funding of €1.5 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to meet the urgent needs of civilians affected by the Syria crisis, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and the Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Cooperation, Sean Sherlock, TD, announced today.
Today’s announcement coincides with the visit of the Executive Director of WFP, Ms. Ertharin Cousin, during which she will meet Minister Flanagan and Minister Sherlock to discuss Ireland and the WFP’s response to current humanitarian crises, including the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Ireland’s support will directly help WFP to provide essential food supplies to families in need in Syria, in particular to children, who make up more than half of all those displaced by the Syrian crisis.
Announcing the funding, Minister Flanagan said:
“As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, there are now over 12 million people who are in need of immediate life-saving support. The UN estimates that nearly 10 million of these do not have enough food. Our funding to WFP will go towards providing vital food assistance to families, particularly mothers and children.
“The funding announced today will bring Ireland’s total contribution to date in support of the Syrian people to over €32 million. As part of our support, Ireland has also provided emergency supplies through our Rapid Response Initiative.
“My meeting with Ertharin Cousin will allow me to outline Ireland’s work on food security, nutrition, and reducing hunger, as well as on Ireland’s key role as co-facilitator for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals talks.”
Speaking about the grave humanitarian situation in Syria, Minister of State Sherlock said:
“Ireland’s contribution will help WFP to support some of the most vulnerable groups in Syria, by providing food parcels to families, school meals for children, and nutrition support for pregnant and nursing mothers.
“The agriculture sector in Syria has been severely affected by the ongoing conflict and food production has dramatically declined, leaving millions of people affected by food shortages. Currently, the WFP is providing food assistance to 4.25 million people each month, right across Syria. They need our support for this vital work.
“Later this month, I will attend a Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait, and will set out then how Ireland intends to support the Syrian people in 2015, including pledging funding."
25 March 2015
Note to Editors
• Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. www.irishaid.ie
• Today’s funding consists of €1.5 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support its work in Syria.
• Since the uprising in Syria began in March 2011, an estimated 200,000 people have been killed. The most urgent humanitarian needs inside the country are protection, health care, shelter, food and water and sanitation. The number of refugees and individuals awaiting registration as a result of the crisis currently stands at more than 3.9 million.
• The UN appeal for assistance to the Syrian people for 2015 requests over $8.4 billion to meet the needs people in Syria, and in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt, which are under hosting millions of Syrians who have no immediate prospects of returning home. This appeal amounts to more than half of the entire UN global appeal for 2015 and is the largest humanitarian appeal in the UN’s history.
• Ireland’s total funding to the Syria crisis to date amounts to €32.3 million, of which €14.9 million was granted in 2014 alone.
• The agriculture sector in Syria has been severely affected by the ongoing conflict and food production has dramatically declined, leaving millions of people food insecure. The UN estimates 9.8 million require food assistance.
• At the start of the crisis in 2011, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) initially provided emergency food assistance to 50,000 people, gradually scaling up to its current target of 4.25 million people each month, across all 14 Syrian governates. WFP, in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, is working with 23 other local organisations to provide food assistance where it is most needed. Assisted families receive food parcels comprising nine food items sufficient for a five member household for one month.
• In 2014, WFP also introduced early recovery activities, particularly school feeding programme and targeted nutrition support to pregnant and nursing mothers through food voucher transfers. While a large part of the country is still under active conflict, WFP is embarking on the introduction of livelihoods-strengthening activities in areas of relative stability.
• In December 2014, WFP was forced to temporarily suspend food aid to Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, and operations within Syria also came under threat.