Cash provides a lifeline for a mother and her baby

Cash grants allow people to choose what they need in the shops. OCHA.

CERF in underfunded emergencies: Syria

In January 2022, CERF allocated $25 million to humanitarian response in Syria through its Underfunded Emergencies (UFE) window.

Syria, Salamiyeh, Hama Governorate. Rubin and her husband Mazen work hard and save as much money as they can, but still struggle to feed their family amid Syria’s conflict and plummeting economy.

Every month, they receive WFP food baskets, distributed by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), but still, they barely make ends meet.

As rental prices keep rising amid rampant inflation, the family has had to move to more affordable apartments on several occasions. To help keep her family afloat amid a plummeting economy, Rubin worked as a cleaner for eight years, and now teaches part time.

After her second daughter was born, Rubin wanted to have more children. But when conflict broke out more than 11 years ago, she changed her mind. She did eventually have a third child in 2021, after what she said was a stressful unwanted pregnancy.

While she was pregnant, her doctor told her that she had calcium deficiency, which, if not addressed could affect the baby. The doctor said she needed to consume dairy products every day, an additional expense she could not afford until the WFP-supported AKF threw her a lifeline.

“They asked me if I wished to sign up for mixed food assistance that included a flexible e-voucher redeemable for fresh food.” Relieved and thrilled, Rubin immediately agreed. “I knew that with the voucher, I would be more capable of managing my family’s nutrition needs compared to receiving purely in-kind assistance.”

Rubin says that after receiving the support, she would eat yogurt, cheese and meat to ensure she would deliver a healthy baby.  “Now while I’m breastfeeding, I also need to compensate my body for the elements it’s giving away.” She is also able to provide vegetables, eggs, yogurt and labneh for her children and uses some of the family’s income to buy diapers and cleaning products.

In January 2022, CERF allocated $25 million to humanitarian response in Syria through its underfunded emergencies window. WFP received $6 million to provide food assistance and rehabilitate the bread value chain, with a focus on underserved and food insecure communities in Hama, Homs and Quneitra governorates.


More information on the CERF allocation (UFE 2022)

CERF data hub (UFE 2022)