More US aid for WFP programs in Syria

Syrian refugees at a shelter in Lebanon. The U.S. will provide $21 million in new funding to the World Food Program for its operations in the conflict-torn state. Photo by: Salah Malkawi / UNHCR

On official travel in the Middle East, the top U.S. aid official has unveiled a gift of relief for residents of one of the region’s poorest and most conflict-torn states: Syria.

The United States will provide $21 million in new funding to the World Food Program for the group’s operations in Syria and its neighboring countries, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah said Sept. 5 in Jordan. Some $14.3 million of this will be for food aid programs within Syria while the remaining $6.7 million will be spent on programs for refugees in nearby countries.

This announcement of new U.S. funding comes as the International Committee of the Red Cross was able to secure “positive commitments” from Syrian President Bashar Assad to allow the aid group to scale up its work in the country. Few aid groups are able to operate freely in Syria. The international medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières  recently revealed it has been running a hospital there — without Syria’s authorization — since June.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.