The German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel, announced Germany‘s new contribution during a visit on Sunday to two camps in Nizip, Southeast Turkey, where he saw first-hand the plight of around 15,000 Syrians, most of whom had fled from Aleppo and Northern Syria. He also visited the market inside one of the camps where refugees were buying food using WFP Electronic Food Cards.
“WFP has an innovative instrument for improving the food security of Syrian refugees; instead of giving them food, WFP provides a credit card which opens opportunities for refugees to go to the supermarkets and buy the food they need. This system also helps the local economy grow and reduces the pressure on hosting communities,” said Niebel.
WFP and the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) provide assistance via Electronic Food Cards to around 100,000 Syrians in 13 of the 20 Government-run camps, and are planning to expand assistance to support 180,000 Syrians in Turkey by the end of the year. Each card is loaded with 80 Turkish liras (US$45) per family member per month.
“WFP has provided close to US$16 million to Syrians in Turkey since the operation started in late 2012 and this money is being injected into the local economy,” said Jean-Yves Lequime, WFP Emergency Coordinator for Turkey. “We were able to do this thanks to the generosity of the German government, and other donors, who have been supporting WFP and continue to stand by the Syrian people.”
Since the beginning of 2013, through the voucher and E-card programmes, around US$68 million in assistance from WFP has flowed into the local economies of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. WFP will use this recent contribution to continue to provide assistance to a growing number of Syrian refugees fleeing Syria every day, through electronic food cards and vouchers.
Germany has been continuously and generously supporting WFP food assistance to Syrians, both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries. That support also helps WFP provide nutritious snacks to school aged children living in camps in Jordan and Iraq through the school feeding programme.
WFP needs to raise around €20 million ($US26 million) every week until September to meet the food needs of people affected by the conflict in Syria.
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