Fighting Disrupts Food Distribution for Thousands in Syria

GENEVA - Fighting in Idlib on Tuesday prevented U.N. trucks carrying food and other relief from crossing the Turkish border into Syria's embattled northwest region. The World Food Program reports the conflict caused a 24-hour break in the distribution of vital supplies.
Syria and its Russian ally's military operation to regain control of Idlib from rebel groups has displaced more than 800,000 people since December, 80 percent of them women and children, according to the U.N.  
WFP spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs said heavy bombardment and armed clashes by the rival forces continue to cause more people to flee. She says thousands of families are traveling in sub-freezing temperatures in search of safety in overcrowded camps.
"Many families were forced to flee on foot in the middle of winter, with temperatures at night reaching minus 10 degrees," she said. "Over the past nine years of conflict, people across northwest Syria have already been displaced multiple times and rely heavily on humanitarian assistance."  
The WFP has been able to provide emergency assistance to many of the displaced because it has prepositioned food inside the region, Byrs said, adding that more than 300,000 people have received emergency ready-to-eat rations.  
This staple food item can be eaten without cooking and is light enough to be carried.
The U.N. reports the trucks are moving again and the cross-border operation has resumed


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