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News+Politics
One Million People In Syria Going Hungry As UN World Food Programme Can’t Get Food To Them Amid Civi
January 8, 2013
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One million people are now said to be going hungry in Syria, after nearly two years of civil war.

The United Nations World Food Programme is handing out food to 1.5 million Syrians. But there are another one million or so, that it can't get to.

Most of those people are in the heart of the fighting.

Only a handful of aid organizations are allowed to distribute aid in Syria. One of them is the Red Cross, which is the WFP's main partner.

Trouble is, the Red Cross is "overstretched and has no more capacity to expand further," says WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs.

Byrs says the WFP also has temporarily pulled out of four Syrian cities - Homs, Aleppo, Tartous and Qamisly - because it's too dangerous.

Throughout much of the country, people desperately need bread. Many line up for hours in front of bakeries, to try to get whatever there is.

There are also reports of shortages of wheat flour, because mills have been destroyed - particularly in Aleppo.

As well, the WFP is seeing more and more attacks on its aid trucks, and it can't use the port of Tartus to deliver food - which means many people are not receiving aid.

Fuel is also said to be in short supply.

The WFP says it's making arrangements to import more and find trucks to try get aid to those who need it.

Last month, the UN appealed for $1.5 billion in aid. And for the first time in months, the WFP was able to reach some remote areas near the Turkish border.

But overall, things are not good. Four million people are said to need urgent aid, including two million who've been forced from their homes by fighting.

If you'd like to make a donation to help, click here.

Over the past month, the UN says the number of Syrian refugees has jumped by 100,000 - up to 600,000 in all.

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The UN estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed in the uprising, which began in March 2011.

Meantime, a riot broke out in Jordan today at a camp for Syrian refugees - mainly out of frustration.

Dozens of people lost their tents after a wind and rain storm, and ended up attacking aid workers with sticks and stones as they handed out bread.

Police say seven aid workers were injured.

Nearly 50,000 people are at the camp, including pregnant women and babies. At least half the regfugees are under the age of 18.

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Temperatures dipped below freezing overnight and were expected to be similar tonight and tomorrow, with a snowstorm warning in effect for Jordan and Turkey.

"It is hell - boiling hot in the summer and freezing cold now," said Ahmed Zibi, who has five children in the camp. "Rain flooded the tent and its shafts submerged and collapsed on us."

"It's one misery after the other as the international community sits idle, doing nothing to help us get rid of the tyrant Assad," said Fadi Suleiman.

A similar storm hit a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon, flooding tents and forcing dozens of people to gather up their stuff and find other shelter.

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Rebels fighters have gained control of parts of northern Syria in recent months. But they haven't been able to take control of areas around major cities, including Damascus.

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Syrian forces have put up an intense fight and have launched increasingly powerful air strikes.

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Related stories

The UN Makes Its Biggest Aid Appeal Ever, In A Bid To Help Syrian Refugees

Red Cross Says It's Overwhelmed By Syria's Civil War; President Assad Says He'll "Live & Die" In Syria

Save The Children Releases Disturbing Report About Alleged Atrocities Against Children Caught Up In Syria's Civil War

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