Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, addresses the Security Council meeting on Syria. UN Photo/Manuel Elias
By PATRICK MAYOYO
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on September 26, delivered relief supplies to besieged families in four towns in Syria for the first time since April.
The food assistance was delivered to Madaya and Zabadani in Rural Damascus and Foaa and Kefraya in Rural Idlib as part of a joint interagency convoy with UN agencies and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
The UN agency said in a statement this is the first time that food and humanitarian supplies have reached these areas since April.
“This convoy has brought extraordinary relief for 60,000 people who are in dire need of food and medical supplies, and have been cut off from humanitarian access for five months,” said WFP Syria Country Director Jakob Kern.
WFP sent 45 trucks carrying food rations and wheat flour to the four towns as part of a joint UN-SARC convoy. The food rations contain rice, lentils, bulgur wheat, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, beans and chick peas, and are sufficient for 60,000 people for one month.
WFP also delivered to Madaya and Zabadani a three-month supply of specialized nutritious products for the prevention of malnutrition for 250 children.
“Elsewhere in Syria, we are extremely concerned about the more than 250,000 people trapped in eastern Aleppo city who are cut off from food, water, medicine, and other essential supplies,” added Kern.
Kern called on all parties to the ongoing conflict in Syria to immediately open transport routes that allow unconditional, unimpeded, sustained and safe humanitarian access to those in eastern Aleppo “and very family across Syria that needs our support.”
Last week, a convoy reached the besieged area of Moadamiyet al Sham in Rural Damascus for the first time since July, delivering WFP food for 35,000 people for one month, in addition to other humanitarian assistance.
An additional interagency convoy went to Al Wa’er in Homs, providing WFP food for 37,000 people and wheat flour for 70,000 people for one month.
A third convoy to Talbiseh in Rural Homs brought enough wheat flour from WFP for 84,000 people for one month, in addition to other food supplies.
Across Syria, WFP provides food assistance to more than 4 million people every month. Thirty per cent of this food is delivered through cross-border, cross-line and air operations to areas that are not reachable through regular road deliveries.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.