news Monday, March 09, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | February 3, 2015 | 10:58pm IST

Damascus : The UN World Food Programme (WFP) Tuesday said it is "extremely concerned" by images seeming to show that its food parcels in Syria being handed out bore the logo of the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The pictures on social media appear to be from the town of Deir Haf, where WFP distributed food last August, BBC reported.

"WFP condemns this manipulation of desperately needed food aid," said Muhannad Hadi, the UN agency's emergency regional coordinator.

WFP supplies are distributed across Syria by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, whose warehouses were raided by IS militants in September.

Cardboard boxes of food seen in the pictures may have originated there, the organisation said.

Some 6.5 million people, half of them children, are believed to be internally displaced within Syria.

An estimated 10.8 million are in need of humanitarian assistance inside the country, with 4.6 million living in areas under siege or hard to access.

On its last visit to Deir Hafr, where the pictures were taken, WFP delivered supplies designed to feed 8,500 people for a month.

Meanwhile, with no end to the four-year conflict in sight, the death toll continued to rise.

At least 76,000 people were killed in Syria in 2014, bringing the overall death total to more than 200,000 and making it the deadliest year so far in the four-year conflict, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

IANS

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