The United Nations has announced a gift of $104 million from King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to assist refugees sheltering in Ethiopia, Kenya, and countries neighboring Syria.
The contribution includes $52 million to assist about 1.7 million Syrian refugees who were facing suspension of their food assistance this month, just as another harsh winter in the region looms; $42 million for refugees sheltering in Ethiopia, many from South Sudan; and $10 million to provide nutrition to refugees in Kenya.
Since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, WFP has been assisting more than a million and a half refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt, and has provided food assistance to up to four million displaced people inside Syria. In Ethiopia, WFP is supporting six hundred and fifty thousand refugees, nearly a third of whom have arrived from South Sudan since violent civil conflict erupted in that country last year. In Kenya, WFP supports nearly half a million refugees — mostly Somalis — in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps.
"These funds will go immediately to help people facing hunger and an uncertain future. We are extremely grateful for this assistance, which comes at a crucial moment for these refugees — all of whom have fled protracted conflict," said WFP's executive director Ertharin Cousin. "The compassion and commitment shown by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, will help save the refugees, especially children, from the pain and debilitating effects of hunger."