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US considers additional funding for World Food Program

WASHINGTON, July 1 (KUNA) -- The US on Wednesday urged international donors to step up funding for the World Food Program (WFP), after the UN agency cut in half the amount of food aid it provides to Lebanon's Syrian refugees.
The Obama Administration said it is also considering an increase to its own contributions.
"Real lives are at stake here. We are exploring additional contributions, but the enormous needs means that all donors urgently need to contribute not only to WFP's operations, but to all of the operations of humanitarian agencies that help Syrians," State Department Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.
The WFP will also have to cut all help for 440,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan in August, if the financial shortfall is not addressed. The agency needs at least USD 139 million to get it through September.
"These shortfalls will have potentially profound consequences for the nutritional needs of the 6 million Syrians it currently reaches in Syria and throughout the region," Kirby warned.
"It could lead both to increased displacement within Syria, and increased social instability in countries hosting refugees," he added.
"The United States has contributed nearly USD 1.2 billion to the World Food Program's operations for the Syria crisis since fiscal year 2012; approximately as much as all other donors combined," he said.
In addition, "more than USD 360 million in new US funding to help Syrian conflict victims" was announced last week, he noted.
The total US government humanitarian aid for Syria comes to more than USD 4 billion since 2011, Kirby affirmed. (end) ys.tg