AMMAN (Xinhua) – The WFP has announced that 21,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan would no longer receive their monthly food assistance as of July, following a prioritization exercise driven by a shortage of funds.
Jonathan Campbell, WFP’s deputy country director to Jordan, said the UN agency is facing a severe shortage of funds that will affect a more significant number of refugees in the coming months.
“We have already informed 21,000 refugees that we cannot support them as of July 1, and if we do not get more money, sadly we will have to make much bigger cuts ... tentatively, we are looking at another quarter of a million refugees also living outside the camps,” he said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The WFP said it urgently needs 58 million U.S. dollars to continue food assistance until the end of the year for the half-million refugees it supports.
He pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the fund shortage and caused the donor countries to divert their overseas assistance to their own population.
According to the WFP, refugees living in Jordan’s Zaatari and Azraq camps, as well as those extremely vulnerable families living in local communities receive 32 dollars per person monthly, while refugees living outside camps classified as vulnerable receive monthly assistance of 21 dollars per person.
“The situation is very alarming ... the more people lack money for food, the more they have to cut expenses in other areas and take kids out of schools or maybe marry their daughters early ... we see this trend is rising already,” he said.
A recent WFP survey revealed that 68 percent of the refugees in Jordan have seen their income drop since the beginning of the pandemic. Meanwhile, 25 percent of them suffered from food insecurity last year, while 64 percent were on the edge of food insecurity.