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Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers

Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers (1)

Syrian refugees gathered in a basketball court turned into a distribution site in Nabatiyeh South Lebanon where WFP launched a pilot project for food assistance using Electronic cards.

Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers (2)

WFP in Lebanon started the transition from paper vouchers to electronic vouchers or E-cards. By the end of the year, WFP aims to assist around 800,000 Syrian refugees across Lebanon with these cards. The electronic vouchers are essentially pre-paid debit cards. Each card is automatically loaded with US$27 for every family member each month.

Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers (3)

Ali Farhat fled the fighting in Edlib, Northern Syria almost a year ago with his wife and four children. He also takes care of his brother's family, since his brother disappeared in Syria few months ago. He was among the first Syrians in Lebanon to receive an Electronic Card that allows him to feed his big family.

Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers (4)

E-cards can be redeemed against a variety of items in local shops, allowing refugees the freedom to buy the food they need whenever they need.

Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers (5)

Unlike with paper vouchers, with the E-cards refugees are not obliged to spend the full amount at once, which means they can use it to buy their need of fresh vegetables and fruits when needed.

Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers (6)

Syrian refugees gathered in front of a shop in Nabatiyeh after shopping for food using the WFP E-card. The card can be used in some 300 shops participating in the programme across Lebanon.

Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers (7)

The system also helps boost the local economy. Since the beginning of 2013, the voucher system injected over US$82 million into the local economy of Lebanon.

Syrian Refugees Go Shopping With E-Vouchers (8)

the E-card system in Lebanon combines MasterCard expertise in payment system with WFP's expertise in delivering food assistance. MasterCard provided technical support on the banking environment and set up the e-card system in Lebanon.

Syrian refugees gathered in a basketball court turned into a distribution site in Nabatiyeh South Lebanon where WFP launched a pilot project for food assistance using Electronic cards.