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EU to Provide Milk to 350,000 Syrian Children

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EU to Provide Milk to 350,000 Syrian Children

EU to Provide Milk to 350,000 Syrian Children
April 01
14:46 2016

The European Commission has adopted a €30 million programme to provide 350,000 Syrian children with drinking milk, as part of the already substantial aid provided by the EU to those in need as a consequence of the crisis in the region.

The funding for this latest programme is part of the €500 million support package for European farmers presented by the Commission in 2015, which represented a substantial response by the Commission to support European farmers. It will be used to buy milk which should originate in the EU.

As well as supporting European farmers through the purchase of drinking milk, the €30 million programme will also contribute significantly to the major challenge posed to the EU by the refugee crisis. The milk will be distributed to Syrian children and will reinforce an already operating food distribution programme for school children financed by the EU in Syria.

The milk provided will be of EU origin and is part of the Commission’s €500 million solidarity package to European farmers presented in September 2015, where €30 million was earmarked to address the needs of vulnerable groups in third countries, in the context of the current refugee crisis.

The conflict in Syria has had a severe impact on the agriculture sector of the country, leading to a decline in food production, in particular of dairy products. Consumption of milk has been significantly reduced especially amongst poor households due to high food prices. Syrian families typically consumed milk and other dairy products on a daily basis prior to the crisis. At present, milk has in some cases completely disappeared from their diet.

Besides being the type of dairy product that better suits the food and nutrition needs of the people that will benefit from this programme, the treatment of drinking milk makes it suitable for human consumption over a long period and allows for its consumption on a stand alone basis, without there being a need to add water (the quality of which cannot always be guaranteed up to the required standard in all parts of the intended areas of intervention).

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