The UN World Food Program on Tuesday warned that food aid being provided to millions of Syrians will run out in the next two months unless it receives more funds for its humanitarian effort.
Last month, the UN’s food agency provided food to about 4.1 million Syrians but food rations have been reduced so that they can reach out to as many people as possible, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said.
“Without additional funds, the World Food Program will be forced to end its operations completely within two months”, Amos said at a council meeting, the first meeting held in Syria since the US and its allies launched air strikes on militants from the Islamic State (IS) in the country last week.
As winter approaches, Amos also appealed for supplies to help Syrians protect themselves from the cold, and said that millions of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries also need support. Over tens of thousands more could be forced out of northern Syria if the IS continues to gain ground in the region, Amos warned.
In the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Raqa, where fighters from the IS are on the rampage, around 600,000 Syrians are out of reach of aid workers, who have been delivering food in the region for three consecutive months now.
On Tuesday, UN aid convoys opened the new Nusaybin crossing point in Turkey to urgently send supplies to 225,000 people in northern Syria, Amos said. The UN Security Council had adopted a resolution in July, without the Syrian regime’s consent, to allow for cross-border aid deliveries.
Since March 2011, over 191,000 people have died in Syria, with the emphasis in the Syrian Civil war shifting from battling President Bashar Assad’s regime to repelling extremists from the IS who are also active in neighbor Iraq.