Syrian refugees to fend for themselves after food cuts
Syrian refugees' food voucher rations in Lebanon are to be halved after deep cuts to United Nations World Food Programme funding.
Each person will receive just $13.50 per month - or 43 cents per day - for food.
In Jordan, WFP fears that it might have to suspend all assistance to Syrian refugees living outside recognised camps - unless it can find urgent funding by August.
This will leave 440,000 Syrians in Jordan without any form of food assistance.
"Just when we thought things couldn't get worse, we are forced yet again to make yet more cuts," said Muhannad Hadi, the WFP's regional director.
|Refugees were already struggling to cope with what little we could provide.
- Muhannad Ali, WFP
"Refugees were already struggling to cope with what little we could provide."
The WFP provides food and assistance to Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq.
It is funded entirely by contributions from governments, companies and individuals, but its refugee programmes have been left 81 percent underfunded - forcing it to reduce assistance to 1.6 million Syrian refugees in desperate need of help.
"We are extremely concerned about the impact these cuts will have on refugees and the countries that host them," Hadi added.
"Families are taking extreme measures to cope such as pulling their children out of school, skipping meals and getting into debt to survive. The long-term effects of this could be devastating."
Since violence erupted in Syria in 2011 following wide-scale protests, the WFP has provided assistance to close to two million refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt and millions more displaced inside Syria.