U.S. Provides Wheat To Fill Urgent Food Gaps in Syria

As part of our nearly $510 million in humanitarian aid to help those affected by the crisis in Syria, wheat recently provided by the United States will feed more than one million people in Syria for four months.

The 25,000 metric tons of wheat donated to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) will be milled into flour and distributed to vulnerable families across Syria’s 14 Governorates through WFP as part of a monthly food ration. In addition to the 25 kilogram bag of flour that is being provided in these monthly food kits, families receive vegetable oil, pasta, bulgur, canned pulses and sugar. MORE

Reporting on the U.S. Fight Against World Hunger

Villagers in Mtanga, Malawi, where U.N.-backed development projects are helping farmers grow maize and start fish farming, April 16, 2007. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: David Lane serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.

Our journey started with an early morning flight into the Tanzanian city of Arusha, where we were greeted by the impressive sight of Mount Kilimanjaro, whose snow covered peak dominates the landscape.

I was on my first media tour as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome. Accompanying me was a group of talented reporters from five African countries — Malawi, Uganda, Ghana, Niger, and Tanzania — plus two Europeans from France and Italy.

The U.S. Mission I lead — to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the International… more »

Additional Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Violence in Syria

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 5, 2012


The United States remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis caused by violence in Syria. Over 100,000 refugees have flooded into neighboring countries in the month of August, stretching host country capacity. We commend the generosity of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq in assisting approximately 240,000 Syrians who have fled.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has stated that as many as 2.5 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, more than double the number that was assessed in March 2012, and over 1.2 million people have been internally displaced.

To help meet the growing humanitarian need, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah announced today in Jordan that the United States is providing an additional $21 million to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP). Of this new funding, $14.3 million will provide food assistance to conflict-affected people inside Syria and $6.7 million to support Syrians displaced to neighboring countries.

With this new assistance, the United States is providing a total of more than $100 million for humanitarian activities both inside Syria and in neighboring countries: MORE

U.S. Humanitarian Aid Reaching Syria and Neighboring Countries

The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief to those affected by the violence in Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. The United States is providing an additional $8 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Syria, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to nearly $33 million to date for this crisis. Our assistance is through international and non-governmental humanitarian partners, including:

  • $10.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
  • $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • $7.8 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
  • $3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); and
  • $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

MORE

Additional Humanitarian Relief for Syrians

The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief into Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. The United States is providing an additional $12.2 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Syria, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to nearly $25 million. This assistance is supporting international and non-governmental humanitarian partners, including:

  • $10.5 million to the World Food Program (WFP);
  • $8.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • $3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and
  • $2.8 million to non-governmental organizations (NGO).

U.S. assistance includes medical supplies and other humanitarian relief for displaced and vulnerable and besieged Syrian communities. As part of a growing international effort to quickly and effectively deliver aid into Syria as access and conditions allow, we are also bolstering existing regional food and relief supply stockpiles and the logistical capacity needed to deliver these humanitarian supplies.

UNHCR is delivering critical medical services and supplies, food, water, blankets, hygiene kits, and heaters to the Syrian people. This funding will provide additional support for displaced Syrians residing in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, as well as support for host families who are sheltering displaced Syrians due to the ongoing violence.

On March 14, 2012, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a special alert voicing serious concern over the state of food security, especially for vulnerable groups. WFP estimates that 1.4 million people have become food insecure as a result of the violence.

WFP is providing food assistance to 100,000 people affected by the civil conflict in 11 governorates in Syria. The WFP operation provides rations to displaced Syrians and host families, households that have lost breadwinners or livelihoods, female-headed households, and unaccompanied minors. Over 94 percent of targeted beneficiaries – some 85,000 people – received food assistance in the latest cycle of WFP distributions, and the remaining distributions were delayed due to insecurity. As of March 29, approximately 30,400 beneficiaries in nine governorates have been reached in the current distribution cycle that began on March 15. Several of the worst-affected areas within the governorates remain inaccessible due to insecurity, but distributions will resume as security permits.

Helping Guatemala Cultivate a Better Future

About the Author: Ertharin Cousin serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies in Rome.

Cooperativa Agricola Integral Mujeres Quatro Pinos (Integrated Women’s Agricultural Cooperative) in the central highlands of Guatemala is a heartening example of what women can accomplish when they set their minds to it, work together and receive the necessary investment support.

I visited Quatro Pinos’ vegetable production, processing, and marketing operation last week on a media tour of Guatemala as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations agencies in Rome.

In just six years, the cooperative has grown from a group of 35 women with small vegetable plots to a 350-member cooperative that manages 415 acres of land. Since the fall of 2010, they have quadrupled their production from 450,000 to 2 million pounds of vegetables. They grow snow peas, English peas, string beans, and mini carrots that they then process, package and export — much to the… more »

By: Elisabeth Kvitashvili U.S. Alternate Permanent Representative to the United Nations Agencies in Rome, Italy, and Humanitarian Affairs Counselor for the U.S. Agency for International Development

Hunger is a chronic problem in both Chad and Niger, two of the world’s poorest countries. With large nomadic populations whose livelihood depends on their herds of camels and cattle, both countries have suffered severely from droughts. Chronic malnutrition threatens tens of thousands of children who lack access to clean water, preventative health care. and sufficient quantities of nutrient rich foods. The droughts have devastated livelihoods of both farmers and pastoralists in the Sahel, an arid and semi-arid region, sweeping through both countries that is chronically food insecure. On a recent field visit to the two countries where I was accompanied by Cristina Amaral, Africa Director of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Emergency Response Unit and Africa-based representatives of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace, I witnessed the efforts of FAO and the World Food Program (WFP), both of whom receive valuable financial support from USAID, in tackling the impacts of the drought on the most vulnerable populations. In addition to supporting the recovery of drought-affected households, both organizations are now using their resources in a more preventative fashion — in order to get at the root causes of the high levels of malnutrition in a more integrated fashion…