23 October 2014
More money for food aid to help people in Syria is urgently needed, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has warned.
The organisation aims to supply food parcels for 250,000 people in Syria a month. Money to pay for the parcels comes from a range of sources, including the British Red Cross. But a lack of funding in recent months has led to a drop in supplies.
Many of the parcels – which contain essential goods such as rice, tinned tomatoes and cooking oil – are taken to hard-to-reach areas by volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
As areas are sometimes cut off or made accessible with little warning, and big groups of people are forced to flee suddenly, it is vital that volunteers have parcels ready to deliver at a moment’s notice.
Jyri Rantanen, IFRC country representative in Syria, said: “The major problem is sustainable funding. Every month we have to search for the means to supply this food. These are the food parcels that reach the most vulnerable communities in Syria, often places that other agencies cannot get to.”
Rantanen said an estimated ten million people in Syria were at risk of not getting enough food. He added: “We aim to provide 50,000 food parcels per month, but currently we only have 20,000 for October, and a pledge of 38,000 for November. This is a worrying situation, especially as the number of people who need our help continues to grow.”