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Food cuts increase health risks and threaten wellbeing through winter months

AMMAN, 4 December 2014 – UNICEF joins the appeal for urgent support to the World Food Programme (WFP) after the UN agency was forced to cut food assistance for 1.7 million vulnerable Syrians across the region.

This cut will contribute to the growing sense of desperation particularly among children, nursing mothers, persons with disabilities and the elderly.

Families risk being driven towards destitution and many children might be forced into the workplace to increase family income for the purchase of basic food items. This in turn could lead to more school dropout.

“Syrian children and their families are paying a heavy price as a result of the ongoing crisis,” says Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.  “As winter approaches, the lack of funds for food will have a devastating impact on them.”

If funding is provided, WFP could resume assistance for Syrian children through a voucher system that enables families to buy food in the local markets.

UNICEF urgently calls on the donor countries to further support the critical needs of Syrian children and their families and avert a looming disaster.

For more information about current needs and UNICEF’s Regional Winter Response, please visit:  http://childrenofsyria.info/winter/

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