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Debit Cards and Food Security: Sustainable Solutions to Lebanon’s Massive Refugee Crisis

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Food assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon has evolved since the start of the refugee influx. What started out as parcels full of essentials like wheat, sugar, oil and other basic food stuffs, morphed into coupons that can be redeemed for the refugees’ choice of items at designated shops and finally, became a blue debit card that refills every month and has already been given to 150,000 Syrians residing in Lebanon. The e-card has many benefits. (..) The best part is, the WFP wholeheartedly follows up on this, to make sure everything is ok. (..) Today, Kevork and Yasmine took their time and a lot of patience to gather as much information as possible for their comprehensive questionnaires to try to piece together what the refugees were eating, whether or not its healthy, balanced, fair-priced, easily accessible and stable, and how well the e-card system is running and if the specified shops are sticking to the guidelines.