International Rescue Committee (IRC)

What would you cook on a Syrian refugee family’s rations?

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As Syria's civil war rages on, cutting off food supplies, families in in the Al-Hasakah region of eastern Syria are facing what may be an unusually harsh winter without enough to eat.

The IRC is one of only a few international aid organizations working in this often-overlooked region. Alongside a partner based in neighboring Iraq, the IRC has launched a pilot program delivering two months of emergency food rations to 750 families who have been uprooted by the ongoing violence. Each ration contains enough rice, lentils, beans, canned fish, cooking oil and other staples to feed six people for 30 days. As freezing temperatures set in, Syrian families far from home will be able to turn these ingredients into familiar comfort foods – such as warming lentil soup, hearty bean stew and savory bulgur pilaf – that also are extremely nutritious.

What would you make with the ingredients in a Syrian refugee family’s monthly food ration?
(listed below) 

A Look Inside an IRC Family Food Ration
Family food rations are designed with shelf life, nutrition and beneficiary preference in mind. Rations distributed this month in eastern Syria will contain the following:
Rice (18kg); Bulgur (4kg); Pasta (2kg); Brown lentils (2kg); Canned chick peas (2 kg); Red lentils (5 kg); Cooking oil (4 liters); White kidney beans (3 kg); Tomato paste (1 kg); Canned tuna (1 kg); Salt 500g; Sugar 2kg"
What would you make for your family with these ingredients?  Let us know in the comments below.


These are great ingredients

These are great ingredients because there are both starches and proteins and also familiar in Arabic cooking but they are relatively low in vitamins. The tomato paste would have to serve in this case. Some popular dishes would be kushary which is a dish made from rice,brown lentils, pasta and tomato sauce. You can make a type of rice dish called kabsa with the tuna and some tomato sauce and the bulgur makes a good side dish to eat with red lentil soup. You could also make a tuna and white kidney bean dish or cook the kidney beans in a tomato sauce to eat over the rice. If it were possible I would try to swap some of the sugar ration for fresh vegetables or powdered milk. With powdered milk the range of dishes is expanded and it also might be possible to make yogurt. God bless you for helping out.

I would cook pasta and canned

I would cook pasta and canned chick peas in tomato paste and oil, and I would also cook rice. Thay are all healthy foods.

Except for sugar and salt,

Except for sugar and salt, these rations are all quite healthy and, depending on the amount of a serving, should sustain one's health. The rice, bulgur, and pasta can all be mixed alternately with the other ingredients, maybe changed up with tomato paste and/or canned tuna for a "special" occasion.

These are staples in my

These are staples in my pantry as well, although I am not limited by amounts and my cooking conditions are obviously much kinder. What is missing are seasonings.....herbs, spices. I also realize that when one is cooking and eating to stave off hunger these little niceties are quite irrelevant. My heart goes out to all those brave women trying to keep their families alive through another winter.


tuna,pasta,salt,chick peas./rice,red beans,tomatoe paste,sugar./bulger,brown beans,oil./white kidney beans,rice,salt./ drink sugar water for energy.there isn't alot to choose from and that is sad.