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Women Refugees: Three Stories Of How Food Assistance Helped

World Refugee Day (June 20) focuses attention on the millions of refugees around the globe who need humanitarian assistance as they wait and hope to return home. WFP food assistance – be it food vouchers or traditional food rations -- is a key part of the humanitarian support system for these families.

ROME – WFP last year provided food assistance to almost 10 million people who had been forced to abandon their homes and seek refuge in another country or in another part of their own country.  Many of these people were women, who for long periods had to ensure their children had food, safety and shelter.

World Refugee Day

Ertharin Cousin close-up

On World Refugee Day, the needs of the displaced everywhere must be remembered, says WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.  Read message 

WFP Assisting Refugees

In 2012, WFP provided food assistance to:
•    Refugees:  2.4 mln
•    IDPs: 4.5 mln
•    Returnees: 0.7 mln

WFP works closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to provide emergency rations to new arrivals and longer-term food assistance once refugees are officially registered.

WFP also works with the International Organization for Migration and governments to assist ‘returnees’ with reintegration packages to help them get back on their feet when they finally go home.

Here are three of them:

Um Raed close-up
Um Raed

Syrian refugee in Jordan

Um Raed was part of a wave of refugees which left battle-torn Syria towards the end of 2012. She and her family faced the winter in Zaatari camp in Jordan, where life was hard but WFP rations kept them going through the cold months. Watch video


Carmen close-up


Colombian refugee in Ecuador

Carmen and her family fled Colombia nine months ago to escape violence. Now living in a frontier town in Ecuador, they try to make a living by selling coconut juice on the street. WFP food vouchers are relieving some of the strain. Read story/see photos


Umjima close-up

Umjima Yacob

Sudanese refugee in South Sudan

Umjima and her children abandoned their village last year when bombs started falling. They are now living in a camp in South Sudan where they get WFP food rations. Her smallest children also received special nutritional products to ward off malnutrition. See photos