When was the last time you ate your favorite dish?
Abdulmajid, from a small village in the south of Aleppo province in northwest Syria, hasn’t had his favorite dinner for a couple of years. The reason is very mundane – he simply can’t afford it. But it was not always like that.
Four years ago, Abdulmajid, a father of four, had his own small shop, cultivated his land, dreamed of becoming a nurse, and hosted his family and friends for delicious dinners every week before the conflict that broke out in Syria turned his life upside down.
Shaken by the new reality, he had to give up his routine and plans to become a nurse and decided to work in a pharmacy in an attempt to earn some money for his family and sustain a “normal” life. However, the looming danger of the conflict escalation forced him to change the course of his life. After trying to escape the bombings several times, moving from one place to another, he and his family finally ended up in one of the camps for internally displaced persons in northwest Syria next to the Turkish border.
Finding safety for his family didn’t mean returning to their normal life. Abdulmajid kept struggling to feed his four children, but the money he managed to earn was not enough for this.
“I currently live in this camp, and I find it difficult to secure some of the necessary foodstuffs such as sugar, oil, and rice because the prices are too high,” shared Abdulmajid.
That was one of the most challenging moments for Abdulmajid, who used to gather the whole family and friends around the dining table without even thinking about how to get such food essentials.
Today, the family’s food is secured thanks to food baskets that IOM distributes to vulnerable camp residents through its partners. One food basket allows a family like Abdulmajid’s have food on their table for about a month and a half.
Food security in northwest Syria is one of the critical areas IOM works on through its partners with the generous support of the Syria Cross-Border Fund (SCHF), France, the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), and the Government of Japan. As a result of joint interventions, more than 25,000 individuals received cash for food to cover their food needs every month, almost 4,000 individuals received food baskets with food essentials, and nearly 15,000 individuals received one-off cash to cover their immediate food needs.