The situation of food shortage in Syria has become increasingly desperate, and people caught in the middle of the conflict have been forced to gather leaves, roots and grass to try to stave off their children’s hunger.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has said that Syria’s development situation has regressed by four decades. Since the crisis began in 2011, life expectancy has shortened by 13 years and school attendance has dropped more than 50 percent. Syria has also seen reversals in all 12 Millennium Development Goal indicators. Before the war started, Syria was a middle-income country with roughly 30% of people living below the poverty line. By the end of 2014, an estimated four in every five Syrians lived in poverty.
Thousands of refugees flee Syria every day. A total of 4.8 million have fled the five-year civil war to become refugees in the neighboring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Many refugees live in simple tents that do not have heat. The cold winter months are especially difficult for these displaced families, and the past winter was one of the harshest on record, for the region.
In the midst of this turmoil and overwhelming conflict, World Renew is called to respond.
Response in Syria
In Syria, World Renew is working with the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) and the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC), to provide food assistance to 2,000 displaced families still in Syria, who have been forced from their homes by the conflict. With the current funds available, this food assistance will continue until August 2016.
In response to the harsh weather conditions of this past winter, FMEEC and the LSESD, with the financial support of World Renew, also provided 700 families with monthly cash distributions, for up to three months. Families used the cash to address challenges they have faced because of the cold weather, spending the majority of funds on heating materials, warm clothing, and rent subsidies. This project was implemented from December 1, 2015 – February 29, 2016.
Response in Lebanon
In Lebanon, World Renew is working closely with its local partner the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) to provide food assistance to 1,825 Syrian conflict-displaced households since July 2013. Due to insufficient funding, they have had to reduce this to 1,235 households per month. In addition to this food assistance, World Renew is providing milk and diapers to up to 300 very vulnerable families per month. The food assistance was reduced to 625 households between December 2015 and March 2016. From April to August 2016, the number of beneficiary households has returned to 1,235.
Your prayers and financial support are greatly needed for those affected by this conflict. Just $55 to buy a month’s supply of food for a Syrian family. Show your love today.
World Renew is grateful to have received funding for this project from