A Glimpse at the Bread Production and Distribution for Syrian Refugees

ACT is working with two local bakeries in Syria to produce and distribute thousands of loaves of flatbread for Syrian IDPs. Khobz, as the Syrians call the flatbread, is a staple food commonly eaten with various side dishes

ACTNews, IDLIB – Grains of wheat flour flew above a massive mixer. A worker immediately came carrying a small sack filled with yeast. Slowly, the yeast was poured into the water and flour mixture as the machine kept stirring until the mixture was smooth.

Every day, the bakery in Idlib managed by Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) produces thousands of khobz loaves for tens of thousands of Syrian Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). For this batch, the bakery has supplied bread for the refugees since the first week of April. "This is a daily program. It has been held from April to the beginning of June,” reported Firdaus Guritno from the Global Humanity Response (GHR) – ACT team.

The bread loaves are produced from two different bakeries. One factory is at the Jenubiyah region and the other is in Tramla. The bread distribution reaches a number of regions. "The distribution is carried out in Janubiyeh, Zof, Ma'arrat An-Nu'man, Maasaran, Kherbet Eljoz; Tramla, and Kafrsajna," Guritno continued.

During the day, the bread packages are delivered using mini buses to the refugee camps. This bread distribution is a collaboration between ACT and Kitabisa, an online donation site. When minibuses that carried the Khobz arrived, dozens of children were lining up. From inside the tarpaulin tents, a number of children peeked into the crowd outside while their parents queued up.

The Khobz distribution from the Indonesian people fed 87,000 Syrian IDPs. Guritno explained that khobz is one of the common Syrian staple foods. This round flatbread is typically consumed with soup or other side dishes.

Previously, added Firdaus, the bakery that ACT managed was in Reyhanli, Turkey. Last Ramadan, the bakery moved into Syrian territory to be distributed to the Syrians living in Idlib, one of the cities that was ravaged by the war.

This year, the war in Syria has entered its eighth year. In late 2018, more than six million people were registered as refugees, making Syrian refugees the world's largest group of refugees. []