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article imageUN cuts food rations to Syrians over cash shortage

By Katerina Nikolas     Dec 6, 2012 in World
The United Nations World Food Program has announced that it has had to cut food rations for hundreds of thousands of people in Syria due to lack of funds to cope with the increased numbers of people it is assisting.
Al Arabiya reported the U.N. World Food Program has had to cut supplementary food rations in certain areas of Syria due to a funding crisis. It aims to provide basic staples including rice, bulgur, vegetable oil, sugar, dried and canned food, pasta and salt, but a budget shortfall has resulted in the curtailment of supplementary items such as tea.
The U.N. estimates four million people may need some kind of aid by January. The agency estimates it needs $20 million to keep operations going through December, with another $134 million needed in the first six months of 2013.
Deliveries of food aid provided by the World Food Program are made by the Syrian Red Crescent. However, 95 percent of cash and materials sent to the Syrian Red Crescent are allegedly confiscated by the regime, as Digital Journal reported. A spokesman for an umbrella group of Syrian aid agencies said much of the aid sent to Damascus "will not reach the civilians who are bombed every day or besieged."
The National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SOC) has offered to work with aid agencies to assist humanitarian aid reaching people in conflict affected areas, USAID reported. Syria will receive almost $200 million from the U.S in humanitarian aid.
More about United nations World Food Programme, Syria, food rations, Abeer Etefa
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