WFP launches 3-day fundraising campaign for 1.7 million Syrian refugees
Syrian Kurdish refugees try to get warm around a fire at a refugee camp - AFP

CAIRO: The World Food Program Wednesday launched a fundraising campaign to collect $64 million in just three days to provide 1.7 million Syrians food vouchers in regional countries hosting them.

The WFP announced Monday it was forced to suspend a critical program providing food vouchers for Syrian refugees in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq due to a funding crisis.

The 72-hour campaign calls for people in different countries on social media to donate one dollar to provide December food aid to Syrians, the WFP said in a press statement.

In Egypt, 90,000 Syrian refugees as of November benefited from WFP food vouchers, each worth up to 200 EGP ($28) per person, the WFP Cairo office told The Cairo Post Thursday via email.

Food vouchers are distributed through a number of WFP sites in governorates with a significant number of refugees, according to the WFP. The sites include Obour in Qalyubia, 6 October City, Alexandria, Damietta, Mansoura and Marsa Matrouh.

“We are hoping to collect the required money for this month and ask the donors for their help,” the WFP’s Abeer Etefa told The Cairo Post Thursday, noting they are already receiving donations.

“Even one dollar can make a difference. We’re saying to people: ‘For you it’s a dollar, for them it’s a lifeline.’  We know that people care—and we’re asking them to show it, by giving even this small amount to Syrians in need,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin in the press statement.

“A suspension of WFP food assistance will endanger the health and safety of these refugees and will potentially cause further tensions, instability and insecurity in the neighboring host countries,” Cousin said.

There are 137,504 Syrian refugees registered in Egypt since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 up to Dec. 1, 2014, according to UNHCR data, making up some 49,856 families.

The total amount of financial aid for Syrian Refugees in Egypt has reached nearly $31.2 million so far this year, also according to UNHCR figures.

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