by Press TV
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has been forced to cut in half its assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon over a budget shortfall.
The agency slashed its economic funds for Syrian refugees, leaving them with a monthly salary of only $13.50, due to a lack of funds.
“Starting January this year, we had to reduce the value of the assistance we give by 30 percent to make funds stretch over a longer period of time. But in July, the funding shortfall became so severe that we had to decrease the value of the assistance we give by 50 percent,” World Food Program spokesperson Dina el-Kassaby told Press TV.
The WFP, which was forced to briefly halt its assistance to Syrians in Lebanon last December, said it was able to keep the program operating after receiving new funds.
“We do need to continue to have help because basically until a political solution is found and refugees can safely go back home, they will continue to need our assistance,” Kassaby added.
The UN agency provides the refugees with an electronic voucher which allows them to purchase food products at various stores in Lebanon.
Syrian refugees, many living in tents and unable to legally work, say the recent cut in assistance has made their situation worsen significantly.
Lebanon, which has a population of nearly 4.5 million, is currently home to almost 1.2 million refugees.
Millions of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the ongoing unrest in their country, fueled by ISIL militants.
More than 240,000 people have lost their lives since the unrest in Syria started in 2011.