Obama visits Jordan, where Syrian refugees need food aid

President Obama continued his MIddle East tour today by visiting Jordan, home to refugees from the war in Syria (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, as part of his Middle East tour, visited Jordan today to meet with King Abdullah II. Jordan is home to 460,000 refugees from the war in Syria.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says it’s “strained by limited resources” trying to feed a refugee population that grows by the day.

During March WFP plans to feed 142,000 refugees at the Al Za’atri camp. As the numbers of refugees increase, food distributions are becoming more crowded and difficult. New camp sites are being explored.

For 117,515 refugees across all governorates of Jordan WFP uses a voucher program to provide food assistance. WFP says, “the vouchers entitle Syrians to purchase items valued at US$33 in selected shops, where fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and other key staples are available.”

WFP faces a funding shortage of US $156 million dollars for its refugee relief operation and its mission inside Syria. Resources are also stretched thin because of other ongoing hunger emergencies in war-torn Mali, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen and other nations.

The UN food agency is voluntarily funded. President Obama said today the US will provide $ 200 million in additional humanitarian aid. As the conflict continues the humanitarian needs will grow. The US budget for international food aid though is at risk of cuts through the Sequester.

WFP has set up a relief fund for the Syria crisis.

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