Syrian refugees facing loss of food vouchers

By: 
Mahmoud Shabeeb
A Syrian refugee family

Cuts in food vouchers provided by the United Nations World Food Programme due to funding shortfalls could affect up to 1.7 million Syrian refugees. Many Syrian refugee families rely on the vouchers as their main or only source of food.

Laila, a 60-year-old woman head of household now living as a refugee in Irbid, Jordan, told CARE:

These vouchers have been helping people survive. What shall we do if we do not receive them any more? Die of hunger?

“Then we might as well just go back to Syria and die there with dignity. It would not make a difference to die of hunger or under bombardment, so at least we should die in our homeland.”

Ruba, a 52-year-old Syrian refugee also living in Irbid, Jordan, said: “We are 13 people living in one apartment. We used to rely on UN food vouchers, which we were strongly dependent on to make ends meet. They were our only resource for food.

Now the food vouchers are cut and we have no other resources to get anything to eat.

“My son is not permitted to work and it is very difficult for him to issue a working permit. If we stop getting food vouchers we will have no other choice but to go back to Syria.”

“It certainly is very tough news,” says Eman Ismail, CARE Jordan’s Urban Programme Director. “I have never seen any news traveling this fast among Syrian refugees in Jordan. And this is the first time refugees are this concerned.

If the international community does not step in, the suffering of Syrian refugees will deteriorate.

Gareth Richards, Country Director of CARE Lebanon, added: “It is a serious indicator of the decline of humanitarian aid into Lebanon. The direct result of this decision on the already struggling refugees will make their lives even more difficult.”

Mahmoud Shabeeb's picture

Mahmoud Shabeeb is Regional Communications Officer for CARE's Syria Response