The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said today that Plumpy’Doz, a food to prevent deadly malnutrition, is being used in war-torn Syria. Plumpy’Doz, a nutrient-rich peanut paste, is being deployed at health centers in Damascus. It will be distributed more widely in the coming days with the help of UNICEF.
Laure Chadraoui of WFP says the agency will soon have enough Plumpy’Doz to treat close to 100,000 children.
There are an estimated four million people displaced within Syria. They have lost everything. Their livelihoods are gone. Food production in the country has been stopped in many areas because of damage to factories. It is not safe for farmers to go to their fields. What food can be produced is very high-priced.
This hunger crisis is taking its toll on children. When food becomes scarce small children are most at risk for malnutrition, which can have deadly consequences at that age.
Without the right food, infants can suffer physical or mental damage which cannot be reversed. Plumpy’Doz, a food which requires no preparation or refrigration, is used to prevent this from happening.
Save the Children released a report that shows the horror of hunger unfolding from this conflict. The report states, “few displaced families have any food stocks at all. They are having to cut down on the number of meals they and their children eat each day.”
If this war continues more children will be at risk of starvation. Aid agencies, such as WFP and Save the Children, need steady funding to keep the humanitarian pipeline of food well stocked. They are feeding not only war victims inside Syria but around a million people who have fled to neighboring countries.
The World Food Programme has set up a Syria relief fund.