Evacuation of civilians in Homs has begun – state TV
The evacuation of civilians from a besieged area of the city of Homs had begun under a humanitarian deal agreed this week, Syrian state television said on Friday.
The report could not immediately be confirmed independently, Reuters said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that a three-day ceasefire has been agreed in negotiations between the local governor and a regional UN humanitarian coordinator in Syria to allow for the evacuation of civilians from Homs and supplies of humanitarian aid for those who choose to remain. The Russian embassy in Damascus “played an energetic role” in the talks, the ministry said.
200 civilians to leave besieged part of Syria’s Homs
About 200 people are expected to leave a besieged area of the Syrian city of Homs on Friday, governor Talal al-Barazi said. This would be the first stage of a humanitarian deal to evacuate civilians and allow aid to be delivered, Reuters reported.
Activists say 2,500 are trapped inside the area, struggling with hunger.
As millions of families brace for automatic cuts to SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps), members of the House and Senate meet today to finalize a farm bill that will impact vital anti-hunger programs–specifically SNAP and international food aid.
“Struggling U.S. families will suffer enough hardship as a result of this week’s food stamp cuts,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We must urge Congress to protect life-saving anti-hunger programs and not balance the budget on the backs of hungry people who cannot afford additional hardship.”
SNAP effectively and efficiently helps more than 47 million low-income Americans put food on the table. Even though unemployment and poverty have remained high, the number of families at risk of hunger has not increased since 2008. Unfortunately, Congress voted twice in 2010 to cut SNAP in order to pay for other priorities. Eleven billion dollars in cuts to the program–or nearly 10 million missed meals per day–will take effect this Friday.
Congress is also considering improvements to international food aid programs that will increase flexibility, cost-effectiveness and efficiencies in order to better respond to global hunger and malnutrition in the 21(st) century.
“Last year, international food aid programs reached more than 66 million people affected by famine, disasters and other emergencies,” added Beckmann. “Still, our food aid programs could be more efficient. Bread for the World supports these and other changes that reduce global hunger and malnutrition.”
Bread for the World urges lawmakers to support a farm bill that reduces hunger in the United States and around the world by protecting and strengthening SNAP and improving international food aid.
Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
SOURCE Bread for the World
Courtesy of Bread For The World
- Food Stamps Loom Over Negotiations to Pass Farm Bill – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Americans headed over ‘food stamp cliff’ (rinf.com)
- David Beckmann: ‘Like the Bite of Crabs’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Farm Bill meetings to decide fate of food aid (Video) (examiner.com)