The UN World Food Programme is restarting food aid for 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt after it received enough donations to fund the halted programme.

The WFP said on 1 December that it was suspending the aid because it had run out of money.

This meant electronic vouchers allowing refugees to buy food in stores were not topped up for December, putting them at risk of hunger during the harsh winter period.

The agency today said that a fundraising drive since then had raised $80 million (€65m).

The funds will allow it to distribute new funds of around $30 per family member by mid-December and also leaving some funding for next month.

"This outpouring of support in such a short time is unprecedented," WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said in a statement.

Government donations made up the bulk of the amount raised while individuals and private sector donors in 158 countries contributed $1.8 million (€1.46m), it added.

It did not say which states had donated money.

Syrian refugees who had their food aid cut said that without it they would be unable to feed themselves, educate their children or warm their tents through the winter.

Syria's civil war is entering its fourth winter and donors have provided just over half the money the United Nations sought this year.

Countries urged to take more Syrian refugees

The UN's Refugee Agency has urged countries around the world to accept more refugees from the civil war in Syria, which has seen three million people flee the country.

The UNHCR is hosting a meeting today in Geneva at which richer nations from outside the region will be asked to do more.

Germany has said it will take in 30,000 Syrians but other countries have been criticised for agreeing to take in just a few hundred people.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said 111 vulnerable people from Syria and the surrounding region have been granted admission to reside in Ireland following applications to her department from relatives already resident in the country.

Her department has said the Government has already accepted 90 Syrian refugees this year under the UNHCR resettlement programme.

Ms Fitzgerald added: "Ireland is committed to continuing with its resettlement programme.  We have pledged an additional 220 resettlement places for the 2015/2016 period (100 in 2015 and 120 in 2016). 

"The majority of these resettlement places will be available for the resettlement of refugees displaced by the Syrian conflict currently resident in Jordan and Lebanon."

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Peter Power of UNICEF Ireland, who has just returned from visiting refugee camps in Jordan, said he believed Ireland should take in more Syrians than it has to date.

"I think we're talking about ... in the tens of people ... not hundreds, but every nation should step up here because the conditions that we witnessed on the ground in Zaatari and in other places are inhumane."

He said he had mentioned to Irish ministers on a number of occasions that Ireland should step up.

"Obviously you know every country faces their own individual difficulties ... that's a policy choice," he added.