Middle East

World Food Program can't meet demand in Syria

A girl walks with her family after receiving food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamad Mohamad

CANBERRA, Australia: A United Nations official says aid agencies have been overwhelmed by demand for food in Syria, with thousands surviving without a regular supply of nourishment for more than a year because of civil war in the Middle Eastern country.

U.N. World Food Program chief executive Ertharin Cousin was in the Australian capital Canberra on Monday for talks with the new Australian government about the financial needs of the world's largest humanitarian organization which she leads.

The Rome-based American says gaining access to besieged areas was the biggest challenge in feeding the 6.5 million people in need within Syria's borders.

She says 45,000 families in the northeast province of Hassaka were among the Syrians who had survived without regular food deliveries for more than a year.





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