Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U.N. aims to feed 500,000 Syrians soon

"(Reuters) - The United Nations said on Tuesday it aimed to deliver food aid to 500,000 people in Syria "in the coming weeks", double the number of people it thinks it will have fed by the end of this month.

In a statement, the U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP) conceded it faced challenges in delivering the food, but said it was increasing its assistance at the request of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and was ready to expand its operations in the country further "when access permits".

"As the conflict continues, Syrians in areas affected by the violence are struggling to feed their families and WFP is deeply concerned about the potential for food insecurity," WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said in the statement.

Elisabeth Byrs, a WFP spokeswoman, told a news conference the agency was aiming to radically increase its efforts in the weeks ahead.

"We are trying to reach 250,000 by the end of April and then double this figure with the goal of reaching half a million in coming weeks," she told reporters.

"It is true, we face challenges," she added, clarifying that the 500,000 people who would be supplied were located at different locations across the country of just under 23 million people......"

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