UN food agency seeks to double aid to Iraqi refugees in Syria

The UN World Food Program said Monday it is seeking to double food distribution to tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan despite a current funding shortfall. At a press conference held in Damascus, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said the agency has distributed food aid to nearly 50,000 Iraqis in Syria and hopes to increase the figure to 114,000 within a month with additional donations from member countries. "The WFP will issue a new emergency appeal that would double food distribution to Iraqi refugees in Syria," she told reporters. Sheeran said the emergency appeal would be made "soon" but did not say when. However, the organization also said it was facing a 38 percent funding shortfall on its current US$5.6 million operation in Syria.