The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says it has suspended providing food vouchers for more than 1.7 million Syrian refugees due to lack of funds.
The UN agency said in a statement on Monday that it has cut the program which provides Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt with electronic vouchers to buy food in local shops.
“The suspension of WFP food assistance will be disastrous for many already suffering families,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
She added that it would also “endanger the health and safety of these refugees and will potentially cause further tensions, instability and insecurity in the neighboring host countries.”
The WFP added that it needs 64 million dollars to support the Syrian refugees in December only.
The UN body, however, said if funding comes through, it will immediately resume the food aid program.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. More than 200,000 people have been killed so far in the conflict in Syria, according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein.
Western powers and some of their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are reportedly supporting the militants.