Last week, the World Food Program released a statement about recent photos that show WFP food boxes bearing the label of the Islamic State group. While the images, which seem to have been taken in Dayr Hafr, a town 50 kilometers away from Aleppo, Syria, are still being verified by WFP, the message they sent was clear: Humanitarian groups are treading a risky path by operating in conflict zones.
It was in August 2014 that WFP last reached Dayr Hafr, where it delivered 1,700 food rations that were enough to feed 8,500 people for a month. WFP learned, however, that just a month after its delivery, Islamic State group militants seized the warehouses of its partner, Syrian Arab Red Crescent, in Dayr Hafr, where undistributed food parcels may have been stored.
“WFP condemns this manipulation of desperately needed food aid inside Syria,” Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s emergency regional coordinator for the Syria crisis, said in a statement. “We urge all parties to the conflict to respect humanitarian principles and allow humanitarian workers including our partners to deliver food to the most vulnerable and hungry families.”