This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Financing the distribution of dairy products as part of the response to humanitarian crises'.


Ref. Ares(2018)4147635 - 07/08/2018
 (ECHO)
From:
 (ECHO)
Sent:
martedì 30 maggio 2017 14:43
To:
 (ECHO); 
 (ECHO)
Cc:
 (ECHO); 
 (EEAS); 
 
(ECHO); 
 (ECHO); 
 (ECHO)
Subject:
Update on the Milk Scheme - inside Syria
Dear 
, dear 
 
 
As requested, please find below the update of the state of play of the milk scheme inside Syria. 
 
General background: 
 

•  The project aims at distributing 17 500 metric tonnes of UHT liquid milk of European Origin 
to 500 000 school children inside Syria. The milk is complementing an existing school 
feeding programme carried out by UNICEF and WFP and covers 400 schools in GoS 
controlled area in Homs, Damascus, Rural Damascus, Tartous, Quneitra and Lattakia 
governorates. 
•  The project is at its half way now, it started in June 2016 and will end in June 2018, 
encompassing 2 school years.  
•  The project is encoded under a special HIP, and has been approved by MSs with a written 
procedure. 
 
State of play: 
 

•  WFP approached 
 in Damascus to request a 1 year No-cost extension.  
•  ECHO proactively checked with the legal unit if under a legal perspective an extension was 
deemed possible and asked WFP for more information. A meeting took place this morning 
(30/05) in Damascus on this topic. 
•  During the enquiry, the following information has been disclosed: 
o  WFP, at procurement stage, negotiated a lower than expected price per litre. This 
will allow WFP to buy 24 000 metric tons of milk (instead of 17 500, as per initial 
proposal
), equal to an increase of  37% of quantity to distribute
o  As of today, WFP distributed 5 000 metric tonnes of milk to 250 000 children (1/3 of 
the total quantity in ½ of the time). In addition, 4000 metric tonnes are already 
procured and will be shipped to Syria in September/October. 
o  On timing, there is one school-year left to perform distributions. Distributions are 
not ongoing during summer, because with high temperatures the risks of bad 
storage and conservation for such a delicate product are too high. 

 If it was already challenging to distribute the 17 500 metric tonnes foreseen, it 
will be not feasible to distribute 24 000 metric tonnes instead, in the same 
timeframe. 
 
Options looked at: 
 

1.  Increase the caseload within the present conditions (i.e. in the area controlled by GoS). 
Challenges:  
a.  Administrative/clearances/ authorisation will be difficult to have from GoS, who has 
approved the scheme, considering that 6 ministries are involved. 
b.  Storage of such high quantity in such short timeframe is impossible inside Syria at 
the moment. Storage has to be adequate (cool chain etc.) 
c.  Logistics capacity  
1


2.  Include milk in the GFA (General food assistance): Challenges: 
a.  Limited storage capacity / cold chain for such a huge quantity 
b.  Distortion of existing targeting among beneficiaries 
c.  Impact in breastfeeding / no harm principles 
d.  Milk is a product that beneficiaries could be re-sold into markets, with impact in 
humanitarian aid 
e.  Market distortions 
f.  Access constraints 
3.  XB TK option: Challenges: 
a.  TK does not allow huge quantity through the 2 crossing points 
b.  No existing school network 
c.  The operation would present serious challenges in terms of remote management of 
such a delicate product. 
d.  In Northern Syria small schools with small caseload and logistics impediments 
4.  If no time extension is deemed possible, a fund recovery for the quantity not procured and 
distributed could be envisageable. 
5.  A time extension could be justified in terms of cost-effectiveness of the operation (same 
amount, 37% more milk to distribute, but in 3 years instead of 2 for the objective 
operational constraints). 
 
Under our request, a meeting with WFP BXL is scheduled for this on Thursday 01/06 at 15:30 with 

 
 will attend.  
 
Happy to discuss at any time. 
 
Kindly, 
 
 
Syria Team 
  
 
 
European Commission 
 
DG ECHO  
B4 - Middle East – Humanitarian Operations 
L-86 0
-1049 Brussels 
T. +32 (0)2 29
 @ec.europa.eu 
 
2