U.N. Feeds a Record 3.8 Million in Syria

But its World Food Program fears many more are still hungry

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The U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) announced Tuesday it delivered rations to a record 3.8 million Syrians in December, but voiced concerns over reports of malnutrition among civilians in out of reach regions.

“WFP is gravely concerned about people who live in areas under siege,” U.N. spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said at a news conference in Geneva. “Their nutrition situation is expected to have deteriorated significantly.”

The WFP also called for greater access to eastern provinces and besieged towns near the capital, especially to address the welfare of malnourished children affected by the conflict, reports Reuters.

The WFP’s executive director Ertharin Cousin said last week the agency has scaled up its food assistance to reach 4.25 million people inside Syria.

As the civil war in Syria nears its third year, the WFP is planning to appeal for some $2 million to help more than 7 million Syrians in urgent need of food provisions this year.

“The Syrian crisis is more than numbers,” said Cousin. “I am overwhelmingly moved by the resilience and the spirit of the Syrian people. It is essential that the international community continues to support the provision of basic humanitarian needs.”