1,000 signatures reached
To: Senate Foreign Relations Committee, United States Congress, President Obama
Increase funding to the World Food Programme to support Syrian refugees
We urge you to fully fund and increase the amount of assistance the U.S. has pledged to support the UN World Food Programme's aid to Syrian refugees.
Why is this important?
Nearly four years of civil and sectarian conflict in Syria has created a humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Nearly 200,000 have been killed, while almost half of Syria's population has been displaced. While just under 7 million remain displaced inside of Syria, over 3 million have fled and sought refuge and protection in the fragile neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and northern Iraq.
Since June 2013, Road to Mafraq, Inc. has partnered with grassroots movements and NGOs serving refugees in Jordan in an effort to help meet some of the physical and emotional needs facing Jordan's 630,000 registered Syrian refugees. To date, we have raised nearly $22,000 to support their efforts.
The families we serve are not permitted to legally work inside of Jordan and therefore, they rely solely on the World Food Programme voucher system for food assistance. The NGO's we partner with assist them in getting additional needs met. The WFP voucher system is vital not only to helping Syrians get proper nutrition, but also to preserving their dignity, as it allows them flexibility in food choices. Furthermore, it supports the local Jordanian economy, which has been devastated by the strain of supporting the rapid and mass influx of Syrians, by allowing refugees to buy locally.
Due to a lack of fulfillment of government pledges to the World Food Programme, over 1.7 million Syrian refugees have been cut off from food assistance effective December 1, 2014.
If assistance is not immediately restored to these families, the impact to the people of Syria and the nations that host them will be devastating, expansive, and irreversible.
The families we serve cannot make it without WFP food assistance. They will be forced to make very difficult and potentially dangerous choices in order to feed their families. This includes, but is not limited to:
-- Engaging in illicit work
-- Sending their children to work
-- Putting their children in compromising and dangerous situations, including marrying off their young girls or selling their children into prostitution
-- Returning to Syria for lack of better opportunity in Jordan, where the situation remains very unsafe, and their status as having fled the regime as refugees leaves them vulnerable to violent retaliation by the Syrian regime
When we visit with Syrian families in Jordan, they always want to know one thing: "Why is the world ignoring us? How can they sit by and watch this happen to us?"
The United States and other wealthy nations have the opportunity to prove these families wrong; to show that the world is not ignoring them; to remind them that we see them, we hear them, and we care for them.
Please act now to fully fund the U.S.'s current pledge to the UN's World Food Programme and to increase this assistance beyond our current obligations to ensure that Syria's refugees do not go hungry this winter.