CAIRO - 16 October 2017: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations was established back in 1945 to raise awareness on different issues that are affected by the world and food.
The FAO has an ambitious goal to that is to reach zero hunger by 2030, however, is this even a realistic goal to aspire to reach, when we see what is happening in the world around us.
This year, the international day falls under the theme of migration and the need to invest in food security and rural development.
Due to the current global situation, the ongoing wars and political conflicts that cause the residents of developing countries to migrate for the need of human safety. While those wars also cause pollution where the changes in the climate are also the reason for the ongoing natural disasters hurricanes, forest fires and droughts. Also, worldwide financial crises have affected Europe, Middle East and the West, resulting in increased poverty and hunger around the world.
The value of the World Food Program (WFP) food aid offered monthly to the Syrian refugees “will definitely be cut because the fund is insufficient,” Abeer Etefa, director of the WFP office in Cairo, told Egypt Today on Wednesday.
“The deduction amount, expected to be around 30 percent, will be finalized next Sunday,” she said, adding that the Program needs U.S. $ 32 million weekly to aid Syrian refugees in neighboring countries along with the displaced people within Syria.
Since 2011, the WFP has distributed food aid vouchers among Syrian refugees. The vouchers provide the basic commodities, including rice, butter, sesame, sugar and milk to be obtained from the certain hypermarket. However, some of the Syrian refugees in Egypt voiced their concern over the deduction of the WFP’s vouchers, which is worth 200 EGP ($28) per person per month, describing it as “catastrophe.”
“If the aid value was cut, it will be a catastrophe. Now, it is good but not sufficient to survive till the end of the month,” said Ahmed Omar Rehan, a Syrian refugee in Egypt, where more than 90,000 registered Syrian refugees live and depend on the monthly aid vouchers. “Most of Syrian people here depend on the aid to purchase the milk for their kids,” added Rehan, who works a taxi driver.
Food vouchers are distributed through a number of WFP headquarters in several Egyptian cities of a high number of refugees, including Obour city north of Cairo, 6 October City south of Giza, Alexandria, Damietta, Mansoura and Marsa Matrouh.
According to the World Food Program, the world faces an unprecedented catastrophe unless urgent funding is provided NOW, not later, to assist some 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria living on the brink of famine. We also need access to the most vulnerable communities. It is estimated that some 600,000 children will die in upcoming months unless they receive treatment and care.
According to the UNHCR, the total number of Syrian refugees exceeds five million, while 13.5 million people are in need in Syria, 6.3 million are internally displaced persons and 4.5 million people are in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.