Local population pessimistic
(Bonn, 23/01/2014) Welthungerhilfe is hoping that the parties to the conflict will reach a minimum consensus that noticeably improves the catastrophic humanitarian situation endured by the population. "We need humanitarian corridors to ensure that relief items reach the 6.8 million people who have been displaced in Syria. That would be the first success of this meeting," explains Wolfgang Jamann, Welthungerhilfe's Chairman of the Board.
Many people in Syria who are directly affected by the war are not very hopeful regarding the outcome of the conference on the future of their country, which has been under way since Wednesday. A Welthungerhilfe survey of refugees and inhabitants in the town of Manbij, Aleppo province, paints a mostly pessimistic picture. Almost 70 percent of those surveyed did not expect any results at all, and felt that the conference was useless.
"The people here feel the effects of the war on a daily basis: when they arrive in the city as refugees, they have no accommodations, they freeze and go hungry in the winter, and their children are no longer able to attend school. The city's inhabitants are taking in friends and family and sharing their income, so they no longer have enough either". A local worker describes the current mood: "After almost three years of war, they have given up hope that the world can help them". Aleppo province is one of the most hotly contested provinces in Syria.
Welthungerhilfe has been assisting refugees in Syria with food, blankets and mattresses for winter, along with materials for temporary accommodations, since December 2012. In addition, it has supplied flour to local bakeries and also made provisional repairs to schools in Aleppo and provided school materials. More than 140,000 people in Syria are benefiting from the support provided by Welthungerhilfe and its local partners.
Welthungerhilfe is one of Germany's largest private aid agencies. It offers integrated aid from rapid disaster aid and reconstruction to long-term development co-operation projects with local partner organisations according to the principle of help towards self-help. Since we were founded in 1962, we have provided 2.52 billion euros worth of funding for more than 7,100 projects in 70 countries – for a world without hunger and poverty.