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647455
07/29/2015 - 15:18
Responding to Emergencies

Reaching Yemen and those in need

Yemen in Numbers

  • Population - 26.7 million
  • Internally displaced - 1.3 million
  • Severe food insecurity - 6.1 million
  • People reached with food assistance since April - 2.5 million

Three WFP-chartered vessels carrying food assistance and fuel have arrived at the Port of Aden in recent days. When the vessels docked the week of 22 July it was the first shipload of humanitarian supplies to reach Aden since conflict erupted in Yemen in March. The food will provide a lifeline for people in the southern governorates.

Being able to reach Aden directly via the port is a major breakthrough for WFP’s humanitarian response in Yemen. While we have been able to reach southern areas by land, docking at the Port of Aden allows WFP to speed up our deliveries and reach more people in southern cities in dire need of assistance. [story|647388|646373|646271|644939]

The World Food Programme delivering food in Yemen
Photo: WFP/Ammar Bamatraf

WFP is continuing to ship humanitarian supplies to Yemeni ports to meet the deep needs of hundreds of thousands of people for assistance. But humanitarian agencies cannot replace commercial food that is urgently needed to return to pre-crisis levels.

According to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Report (IPC) released in June, 6.1 million Yemenis – or one in five of the country’s population – are severely food insecure and should receive external assistance.

Providing nutrient-rich food to prevent malnutrition

Child malnutrition rates in Yemen are among the highest in the world. Around half of all children under five are stunted; too short for their age as a result of malnutrition. WFP is helping to further prevent malnutrition in children by providing nutrition commodities at health centres still operating in Aden, Amran, Hodeidah and Sana’a city. In July, WFP despatched 240 metric tons of special nutritional products to Aden, Amran, Hodeidah and Sana’a city.

Key challenges to the delivery of food assistance

Checkpoints, insecurity and the reluctance of transporters to access volatile areas remain key challenges to the delivery of food assistance via both road and sea. 

Additional WFP-chartered ships are heading for Aden port with more food. WFP is working to channel food through Aden to needy people particularly in the southern governorates, which are largely inaccessible because of fighting.

Funding helps emergency operations continue

[donation-form|2015-wfp-yemen-webstory-widget |2015-wfp-yemen-webstory-widget|631]
Photo:WFP/Yemen

WFP requires US$102 million to provide food assistance for the coming three months (August to October) to the most vulnerable conflict-affected people in Yemen. Sustainable funding is essential for WFP to be able to scale-up operations immediately; in June and July, WFP requires around US$43 million per month for emergency distributions to 2.5 million people.

In July, WFP has dispatched food sufficient for emergency food needs for some 1.42 million people in Aden, Amran, Hajjah, Hodeidah, Lahj, Sa’ada, Sana’a, Dhale and Taiz governorates.

Distribution for refugees at Kharaz camp was completed on 13 July to more than 24,500 camp residents and new arrivals.

  • Please donate today and help get life-saving food reach families who need us the most.

Since fighting escalated in April, the World Food Programme (WFP), with help from partners, has assisted more than two million people in Yemen by providing over 25,000 metric tons of food assistance.

647117
07/28/2015 - 16:10

1) In 2014, it was estimated that 5.9 million Colombians are internally displaced. After Syria, the second largest concentration of IDPs in the world is in Colombia. 

2) WFP works with government entities in early relief and recovery operations and supports the transition from humanitarian assistance to government social programmes.

3) The geography of the armed conflict has disproportionately affected women, Afro-Colombians and indigenous people. Approximately 60 percent of IDPs are women and children.

4) Among children receiving WFP food assistance, 24 percent are chronically malnourished.

5) The scarcity of dietary diversity in connection with dependency on natural resources contributes to the lack of access to food and malnutrition in indigenous communities.

6) Climate change impacts hunger and malnutrition, especially in dry ecozones and areas affected by drought.

7) In 2014, the national Unit for Integral Reparation and Assistance for Victims in Colombia (UARIV, in Spanish) reported humanitarian emergencies in 31 of the 32 departments within the country.

8) In La Guajira and other areas affected by natural disasters and conflict, WFP is building resilience in families with malnourished children.

Read more about what WFP is doing in Colombia

Learn more about hunger and malnutrition from WFP's comprehensive list of Facts About Hunger and Malnutrition.

Did you know that approximately one in ten people in Colombia is internally displaced persons (IDPs)? Here are eight facts to understand the food and nutrition situation in Colombia and the World Food Programme's (WFP) activities to address this issue. Please help WFP raise awareness by sharing these facts on Twitter.

647453
07/28/2015 - 12:04

Saturday 11 July

Arriving in Lebanon 

The World Food Programme's (WFP) Youth Ambassador Against Hunger Jessica Watson visits refugees in Lebanon and Jordan
Photo: WFP/Dina Elkassaby

As the plane touched down in Beirut the passengers burst into applause. Not because it had been a partially turbulent or long flight, but simple because “The Lebanese like to celebrate,” as the Lebanese-Australian lady next to me explained. 

I hadn’t realised this about the Lebanese, but then again, up until this point I’m embarrassed to admit that my knowledge of the Lebanese was restricted to stories of war and memories of an old neighbour’s fantastic tabouli!   

The amazing WFP staff members, Joelle and Dina, met me at the airport and let me rest for a few hours at my hotel before taking me out to dinner to experience the incredible local food. Let’s just say that the food was so good that I ate too much and slept very well that night nursing my full tummy! 

Sunday 12 July 

Sailing from Beirut 

The World Food Programme's (WFP) Youth Ambassador Against Hunger Jessica Watson visits refugees in Lebanon and Jordan
Video: WFP/Dina Elkassaby

Although my stay in Beirut was short, I was thankful to have time in the mornings to see the city in my favourite way, walking and inevitably getting lost. There’s nothing like walking to get a feel for a place.

On the first morning after wandering the quiet streets (it was a Sunday morning) I found myself on the coast, the light sea breeze was refreshing after the hot humid streets. I enjoyed standing, taking in the movement of the water and watching locals fish with huge casting rods. 

[quote|"In front of the sea happiness is a simple idea" (Jean-Claude Izzo, "Chourmo")]

The World Food Programme's (WFP) Youth Ambassador Against Hunger Jessica Watson visits refugees in Lebanon and Jordan
Photo: WFP/Dina Elkassaby

A little later that day I was lucky enough to spend an amazing afternoon sailing and talking to a group of young Lebanese and young Syrian refugees. As only a few of these teens had been on boats before and with the Australian ambassador there to see us off, we left the dock with an air of excitement.

Clear of the harbour, we found that the conditions were perfect for inexperienced sailors, the sun was shining, the water was calm and the wind light but steady enough to push us along at a gentle pace.    

Mariam's Story

The World Food Programme's (WFP) Youth Ambassador Against Hunger Jessica Watson visits refugees in Lebanon and Jordan
Photo: WFP/Dina Elkassaby

After the sail, we all dined together where I enjoyed being able to ask the young crew a little more about their lives. They all had fascinating stories, but I was particularly struck by one girl’s story. Sixteen-year-old Mariam came from a town in northern Syria.

Her family made the incredibly difficult decision to flee to Lebanon and now they live in a refugee camp in the south of the city. Her older sister is still in Syria and I can’t imagine how I would feel if my sister was living in such a hostile environment. I do know that I’d be a basket case of worries! 

Mariam has passed three years in Lebanon and during this time she and her brother, Hamza, haven’t been able to attend school, something that clearly upsets her as she dreams of becoming a doctor. She doesn’t know if it will be possible to go to university anymore. 

Her words made me think of all the young people in Australia (myself included!) who don’t realise how lucky we are. Wow, am I going to appreciate my next dull lecture when I go back to university!

Talking to the group made me wish young people’s voices were given more attention. Imagine if the world’s old and wise decision makers were as free of prejudice, unburdened by historical conflicts and as committed to unity and peace.

Monday 13 July 

Bekaa Valley 

The World Food Programme's (WFP) Youth Ambassador Against Hunger Jessica Watson visits refugees in Lebanon and Jordan
Photo: WFP/Joelle Eid

On the way out to the Bekaa Valley I shared a car with WFP’s head of the field office and the Australian ambassador who were full of insights about Lebanon and issues in the area. 

[quote|"I am blown away by the generosity of the Lebanese who have welcomed about a fourth of their population in refugees"(J. Watson)] Coming from Australia where they take in only a few thousand refugees every year I am blown away by the generosity of the Lebanese who have welcomed about a fourth of their population in refugees. 

I learnt quickly that fostering and building positive relationships between the Lebanese and Syrian refugees is incredibly important.

When we reached the camp itself I saw that it consisted of tents made from crude wooden frames covered with decaying plastic sheeting, held in place with rocks and rubble. Tiny gardens grew outside a few tents and the faces of small children peered out from the shadows of doorways. 

The children slowly grew more confident, or maybe escaped their parents watchful eyes and followed us around the camp, giggling. The boys were cheeky, clearly stirring trouble and the girls followed me around just like they do at primary schools back home. 

I heard how snow in the winter threatened to collapse the tents and the children, dressed in only a few light layers, had to help clear the snow.

One mother, Khadija, explained that after WFP had to cut back their food rations they weren’t able to eat chicken or meat anymore. She said that the hunger was making her depression worse.

Khadija's eyes reminded me of my own mother's eyes and her story made me emotional. She told me that her only hope was for peace, something that I am so utterly incapable of changing. As much I wish for the peace, she so badly wishes her girls were at school and there is nothing I can do to help on this matter either. 

The only thing that I can do is support WFP and hope that with enough funding WFP will be able to continue their food assistance and maybe even reinstate a slightly higher amount of support to stop Khadija and her family from feeling quite so hungry.  

Tuesday 14 July 

Azraq Refugee Camp 

The World Food Programme's (WFP) Youth Ambassador Against Hunger Jessica Watson visits refugees in Lebanon and Jordan
Photo: WFP/Joelle Eid

It was great to hear that Malala Yousafzai was in Lebanon as well celebrating her 18th birthday by opening a school for girls. Her story is so inspiring and it’s great to see the positive impact she is having! 

I started the day with a briefing from WFP’s Emergency Coordinator in Jordan, a very passionate English man named Jonathan. He was very generous with his time, giving me a detailed account of what's going on in the region, very helpful with a map. 

He explained that WFP doesn't know where next month’s funding for Jordan will come from. Something that is clearly devastating to Jonathan and the other WFP staff members. He told me that if their food assistance stops, some refugees will continue trying to find any work they can, some have no idea and others say they will have to go back to Syria - even into regions that are controlled by ISIS, an absurdly terrifying idea, but they have no other option.  

After that we headed out to Azraq refugee camp. As we left the city the landscape turned to rolling sandy hills then to harsh, bare rocky plains. My first impression of the camp was that it was bleak - rows upon rows of basic white tin huts. I’ve seen prisons in Australia that look more inviting.  

[donation-form|2015-wfp-syria-jessicastory|2015-wfp-syria-jessicastory|629]Stopping at one of the identical huts we met a lady, Manal and her two daughters and her three identical eight-year-old triplet sons. Manal, one of the few family community leaders in the camp, had kindly offered to cook us dinner. So after showing us her hut we headed off to buy ingredients. The supermarket, basically just a huge shed, was packed and chaotic but we had fun finding the things we needed.  

Manal was keen to start preparing the meal straight away, I tried to help, but I’m sure I was really just in the way. The afternoon passed enjoyably. A few women from neighbouring huts dropped in. The family and Manal relaxed more as time passed. I got to see photos of one of the girl’s recently held wedding and we listened to music on my phone. 

I really enjoyed spending time with Manal’s oldest daughter Seedra - a feisty, loud and bossy 13-year-old. I just hope that Seedra stays feisty and strong through all the challenges that she’ll surely see in the next few years. 

As the sun set we left the hut for a little while and headed up a small hill. The colours of the setting sun were stunning, even over the bleak setting. But we didn’t have long to quietly enjoy the sunset as a big group of kids soon joined us - yelling, laughing, and doing backflips. 

With the light disappearing we shook off the kids and went back to the camp for an incredible dinner. I haven’t seen food appreciated like that in a long time, clearly it had been a while since they had eaten so well.

After dinner we headed outside to enjoy the light cool breeze and starry sky before reluctantly leaving at 21.00.  

Since my voyage around the world, I have been called brave a lot, but in comparison to what these people have been through and are going through, having the courage to sail around the world is pathetic. 

The day was certainly one of the most incredible days I’ve ever had. 

Wednesday 15 July

Save the Children Centre and Australian Embassy 

The day started with a visit to a big local Save the Children community centre with Kate, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy. The centre was an old tobacco factory converted into classes and meeting rooms.

We were shown around, visiting different class rooms, including one where mothers were taking a basic literacy and numeracy and computer science class. It felt like we were opening doors at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, every room revealed wonderful things - kids keenly learning and building connections between the Jordanian and Syrian communities.  

I joined a group of older teenage girls who were sharing a little about themselves. It’s certainly distressing to hear that many of the careers that the girls dream of having will not be allowed by their parents. Although I was thrilled to hear one girl suggest that nothing is impossible! 

I was also able to give a short presentation to them on my voyage. It’s difficult to present through a translator, but the girls were glued to the pictures and asked some great questions. 

I was able to repeat the presentation to a group of staff members and an English class. I haven’t enjoyed giving a presentation that much in a long time. One of the young male staff members asked if I cried during the voyage. I told him that I did a lot, but not as much as the guy whose record I broke, something that went down very well! 

Driving back through the streets I was able to see just a little of the city before we arrived for lunch at the Embassy.

The Embassy was huge (although insignificant compared to the US Embassy!) and Australian’s working with non-governmental organisations  were invited along to join us. There was very yummy Palestinian catering and we checked out the view of the city from the pool (yes pool!) terrace before I left for the airport.  

Flying out of Jordan I didn’t really feel ready to leave.

 

The World Food Programme's (WFP) Youth Ambassador Against Hunger Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail the world, shares insights from her recent trip to Lebanon and Jordan where she sailed in the Mediterranean with a group of dynamic teens from Syria and Lebanon and visited refugee families living in camps.

647126
07/23/2015 - 16:21
WFP Ambassadors

Watch Hunger Stop

Even before becoming an ambassador, Michael Kors has been an active supporter of WFP’s advocacy and fundraising efforts across media platforms and in his stores as a corporate partner through the Watch Hunger Stop campaign.

[quote|“It’s an honour to be named a Global Ambassador Against Hunger, and a further inspiration to me to continue the important work of ending world hunger hand in hand with WFP” - Michael Kors]Launched in 2013, Watch Hunger Stop has been raising awareness and funds for WFP's School Meals programmes by designing and selling limited edition and special-edition Michael Kors watches, with US$25 of each sale going to children in need. Additionally, Michael Kors has used his powerful voice on social media to garner support for WFP’s most urgent emergency operations targeting those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Nepal earthquake and Syrian refugees.  Since its inception, Watch Hunger Stop has helped deliver over 10 million meals to school children throughout the world.

WFP Global Ambassador

“It’s an honour to be named a Global Ambassador Against Hunger, and a further inspiration to me to continue the important work of ending world hunger hand in hand with WFP,” says Kors. “WFP has a global presence, with people on the ground in countries that are most affected by hunger and malnutrition, and they’re doing an amazing job helping families and communities build a better future for themselves.”

A champion in the fight against hunger

Michael has been a long-time champion in the fight against hunger. Since the 1980s, he has worked with God’s Love We Deliver to provide nutritious meals to New Yorkers who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. The Ambassadorship with WFP extends his commitment to support hungry communities on a global scale. 

Kors joins a special group of WFP Ambassadors that includes sporting legends such as the Olympic marathon runner Paul Tergat, footballer Kaká; media celebrities such as Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani; platinum-selling musical artists Christina Aguilera and Sami Yusuf; football coach José Mourinho; U.S. philanthropist Howard G. Buffett; and actresses Hend Sabry and Drew Barrymore. 

 

Internationally renowned fashion designer Michael Kors has been named a Global Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). A tireless advocate for the world’s disadvantaged, Kors will use his position to continue raising awareness of WFP’s work to build a world with Zero Hunger

646933
07/23/2015 - 13:59
Food For Assets, Nutrition, School Meals

How is WFP fighting hunger in North Kivu?

Current operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are designed to provide food assistance to the most vulnerable people in the country’s most conflict-affected provinces, like North Kivu.

WFP aims to assist 1.4 million people in DRC in 2015. WFP provides life-saving food assistance for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in conflict-affected areas, reduces malnutrition through supplemental feeding to children aged 6-59 months, as well as to pregnant and nursing women, provides school feeding to displaced children, and supports the early recovery of people returning to their areas of origin.

Refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Here is an aerial overview of the IDP camp in Lushebere, North Kivu, DRC. It shelters 4,500 of the 202,000 IDPs living in camps across this eastern province.

The World Food Programme delivers food to refugee camps in Refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The food assistance route, which begins much earlier with generous government funding, in WFP warehouses.  Each warehouse holds on average, 5,000 tons of food which is delivered to the most vulnerable people across the province - about 200,000 beneficiaries.

The World Food Programme delivers food to refugee camps in Refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo wait to receive food assistance from the World Food Programme

Since March 2012, all formerly closed camps around Goma have been re-opened due to a mass influx of IDPs. Mugunga 3 camp currently shelters more than 5,000 people - among them 1,600 persons identified as being vulnerable and have been regularly assisted by WFP since April 2014.

Distributions at an IDP camp, like Mugunga 3, are handled by WFP partner, Caritas. During food the distributions there is an atmosphere of feverish expectation among beneficiaries. 

Refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo wait to receive food assistance from the World Food Programme

Mungote camp is located in Kitchanga in Masisi territory, 85 km north-west of Goma. It’s the oldest camp in the territory of Masisi and has been in existence since December 2006. It currently shelters nearly 17,000 people - among them some 5,000 persons identified as being vulnerable and have been regularly assisted by WFP since April 2014.

Protein-rich beans are being distributed. They are an essential food that ensures a healthy balanced diet.

A refugee in the Democratic Republic of Congo waits to receive food assistance from the World Food Programme

This woman, with her tin can, waits for her share of cooking oil. Her age means she is listed as a vulnerable person.

School Feeding Programme

[story|645119]Each month WFP distributes corn flour to the camps. From this distribution nutritious fufu balls, along with beans, are cooked daily for the local school children. This will often be their only meal for the day. These meals will allow them to improve their nutritional status and provide a good incentive for the children to attend their classes.

Refugee children in the Democratic Republic of Congo receive food at school from the World Food Programme

Fufu balls are served to school children.

Refugee children in the Democratic Republic of Congo wait to receive food at school from the World Food Programme

Children wait for their serving of fufu balls as part of WFP's school meals programme.

Nutrition centres - Fighting malnutrition at its roots

The nutrition centre at Mugunga 3 camp treats 195 pregnant and nursing women and children monthly. They receive a premix of corn, soya, beans, flour, enriched peanut paste, vegetable oil and sugar.

Refugee children in the Democratic Republic of Congo receive food from the World Food Programme to treat malnutrition

This six-month-old boy has been brought to the nutrition centre where he will be treated for malnutrition.

Refugee mothers in the Democratic Republic of Congo receive food from the World Food Programme to treat malnutrition

A mother receives a monthly ration of specialised nutritional product for the treatment of malnutrition for her child. This enriched peanut paste will allow him to recover over the coming weeks and months. In early 2015, WFP distributed this special paste to 133 young beneficiaries at the nutrition centre in Mugunga 3 camp.

Food For Work - From emergency to resilience building

In the Democratic Republic of Congo the World Food Programme offers food-for-work assistance.

How does the WFP food-for-work programme address environmental and women’s protection issues in Lac Vert camp? Through the production of biomass briquettes made of old paper from WFP offices and sawdust.

Their manufacture and use in the camps limits the cutting of firewood which in turn helps protects the environment. Briquettes also help reduce household expenditure and spare women the chore of having to find wood in the bush where they are often exposed to sexual violence.

Want to view more photos on DRC? Visit our Exposure photo-essay!

Those who work in the programme are members of the host community. In exchange for their work, through which they make hundreds of briquettes daily for the 5,500 vulnerable people living in the camp, they receive WFP food rations. 

In the Democratic Republic of Congo the World Food Programme offers food-for-work assistance.

The Luhonga marshes were drained through the hard work of 600 returned households. These households lost almost everything in their villages of origin after living several years in IDP camps.

WFP's food-for-work programme has allowed them to produce their own food. After three months of work, 24 hectares were drained and planted by the beneficiaries. When the leeks and cabbages are harvested, some will be eaten by the programme participants while others will be sold, thus earning a small income for these returned families.

Learn more about WFP's operations in DRC by visiting our country page.

The World Food Programme (WFP) sends 1,500 tons of food each month to the most vulnerable people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

647120
07/23/2015 - 11:25
Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Food For Assets

In Royganj, Sirajganj, Sima Rani Das stands in ankle-deep mud along the roadside holding a makeshift soil leveler with one hand while directing her peers with the other. “Everybody make sure to drink water,” she said, as the sun had reached its zenith and the temperature swelled to over 30 degrees celsius. About 25 women were fortifying a road embankment, built to prevent flooding and support a road in Rampur village.

Enhancing resilience to natural disasters and effects of climate change

Sima, 34, is a group leader for the Saemaul Zero Hunger Community Project, which is implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the Local Government Engineering Department and non-governmental organisations through funding from the Republic of Korea. The project engages 1,800 ultra-poor individuals under a two-year “Enhancing Resilience to Natural Disasters and the Effects of Climate Change” programme where participants, mostly women, take part in food-and-assets for work-and-training activities aimed at disaster risk reduction.

Sima (left) checking the attendance of her team members before starting work. Photo: WFP/Ranak Martin

Receiving food for community work activities

Community groups such as Sima’s construct or repair embankments, raise roads, excavate irrigation canals and lift homesteads; in return they receive food, vouchers or cash.

Sima digs soil, moves it up the slope and instructs the team on digging and dressing. “I have been providing training on slope, width and length measurements. I have never worked outside my house, this is the first time! As a group leader, I support my team as much as I can,” Sima explained, just as their workday was ending.

“Our area is prone to flooding, and water often flows into our houses during the rainy monsoon months,” Sima recalls.

Sima shoveling soil. The baskets are used to transport it. Photo: WFP/Ranak Martin

Empowering women while sustaining incomes

In 2014, Sima worked 78 days and received 156 kg rice, 16 kg pulses, 8 kg oil and about 4,500 taka (US$58) as remuneration. “Before, my husband was the sole breadwinner, but now that both of us are working we can buy more nutritious food and save money,” she said. Their combined income is 7,000 taka (US$90). “Last year I bought a cow for 9,000 taka and this year I want to repair our house,” Sima shared as she sat by the dining table in her family’s small and tidy home, not far from the reinforced embankment.

Self-employment plays an important role in empowering women and sustaining economic gains at the household level. In the third year of the Saemaul Zero Hunger Community Project, a female member of each participating household receives a one-off cash grant for investment and 12 months of monthly subsistence allowance in order to help the woman strengthen her family’s resilience by starting income-generating activities and diversifying monetary sources.

Before participating in the project, Sima did not have much decision-making authority in the family. “I rarely left the house, I did whatever chores my husband or in-laws asked me to do. Now I am independent,” smiled Sima. “When I earn money, I can go to the market, buy meat and cook just the way I wish. I don’t need permission from anyone!”

Mother and son, cooking and studying. Photo: WFP/Ranak Martin

Start small, dream big

[quote|“I also did not know that a girl should not marry before she turns 18. Now mothers of daughters are more aware.”]Sima and her team members also took part in a six-month training that taught them about various topics, including disaster preparedness, nutrition, health awareness and gender equality.

“I did not know the importance of cleaning a wound and applying an antiseptic cream,” she said. “I also did not know that a girl should not marry before she turns 18. Now mothers of daughters are more aware.”

Sima, herself a proud mother of a healthy six-year-old boy, dreams of his future. “I want him to study. I want him to be a pilot, doctor or lawyer. He will study and get a good job, then he will get married.”

In 2014, the Enhancing Resilience programme provided food or cash to more than 81,000 participants for efforts invested in rebuilding communal assets and receiving training. Including family members of the participants, over 400,000 people in 129 disaster-prone unions benefited from the programme. 86 percent of workers and trainees during the first two years of the programme were women.

During the rainy monsoon months, up to 70 percent of Bangladesh gets inundated, making it tough for coastal communities to rebuild their lives.

647399
07/21/2015 - 17:23
Cash and Vouchers, Responding to Emergencies

Playing an important role

The World Food Programme's (WFP) cash transfers play an important role in reintegrating Ebola survivors back into their communities and helping them to return to normal life.

A survivor's journey

Kadiatu was living a peaceful life in a town just outside of Freetown, Sierra Leone until the day she tested positive for Ebola. She and her husband, as well as her young daughter, contracted the virus from a friend who was sick, although they did not realise it was Ebola at the time.

“[Our friend] died on Christmas day and the following day those of us who had been around her started falling ill. My sister, who was eight months pregnant, started vomiting blood and I took her to the hospital. On our way back home I started vomiting and was admitted to an Ebola treatment centre.”

Fortunately, Kadiatu and her family are among the lucky ones who survived the virus. But when they were released from treatment, Kadiatu was greeted with mixed emotions when she learned that forty-two members of the same compound, where she had been living, did not survive the disease.

Providing much-needed food assistance

In Sierra Leone, WFP is providing support to Ebola survivors and their households with an enhanced food package after they are discharged from treatment. This 30-day food ration consists of rice, pulses, vegetable oil, and a highly nutritious corn-soya blend for making porridge. The rations help ensure survivors and their families are not missing essential nutrients.

Since August 2014, nearly 13,000 people, including survivors' family members, received household food rations.

In addition to these food packages, WFP has recently started a new type of assistance package in Sierra Leone: cash assistance. Survivors receive two monthly distributions of cash transfers, which allow them to purchase their own food, empowering them to choose what they eat.

Cash transfers support nutritious food and more choices

About 100 km away from the nation’s capital lies Waterloo, where Ebola survivors from this community are gathered at the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Ebola treatment centre, waiting to receive their cash assistance from WFP. Among the beneficiaries is Kadiatu, who will receive her first cash payment.

“I left [my home] at 6.00 to get here early so that I could leave in enough time to take care of my family,” said the mother of two, balancing her baby on her back.

With this money, she said she would be able to buy food like beans, fish, and vegetable oil, as well as the staple, rice. She also hopes to use part of the money to restart her fabric business.

 

Kadiatu is one of about 3,000 Ebola survivors receiving cash-based food assistance from WFP across Sierra Leone, which was made possible through support from the Government of Japan.

Once receiving a clean bill of health after treatment for Ebola, survivors still need support to manage the trauma of the illness, and the loss of livelihoods that persist long after the virus has left.

647397
07/21/2015 - 15:47
Responding to Emergencies
The World Food Programme supports Ebola virus patients in Liberia

Responding within 24 hours

“As soon as we heard of the new outbreak, we hit the ground fast with a food response," said WFP Programme Officer, Amos Ballayan. “We’ve built up a lot of experience responding to the Ebola virus since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2014.”

The new cases are located in Montserrado County, home to Liberia’s capital Monrovia, and neighbouring Margibi County, where the disease was reported to have re-emerged. There have now been six confirmed cases of Ebola in these areas.

Food assistance in quarantined areas and households 

As of June 2015, WFP has provided food assistance to over 670,000 people affected by Ebola in Liberia, including people under treatment, in medical quarantine, Ebola survivors, orphans, and people in areas of widespread and intense transmission. WFP is supporting over 870 people with the latest outbreak, including contacts and their families, and quarantined households.

The World Food Programme supports Ebola virus patients in Liberia with food assistance

Helping to reduce the movement and spread of Ebola

Thanks to WFP food assistance, 97 percent of communities reported a decrease in people movement during periods of widespread and intense transmission.
 
WFP support has been delivered alongside the health response, where WFP has also served as a logistics backbone, building warehouses and treatment units, and helping partners get their own humanitarian staff and life-saving cargo to affected areas.
 
Since the beginning of the response, WFP has facilitated the transportation of cargo on behalf of 46 organisations, and the storage of cargo on behalf of 32 organisations.
 
Looking forward, WFP is working to help communities transition out of crisis and into recovery. Maintaining food assistance and increasing social protection are priorities as Ebola-affected people will be further vulnerable during the lean season. 

The World Food Programme supports Ebola virus patients in Liberia with food assistance

Building a stronger emergency preparedness response

is also helping the government and partners to build a stronger emergency preparedness response system for the future. WFP and the government are embarking on implementation of a transition strategy, through which knowledge, responsibilities and assets will be transferred from the WFP logistics response to Government of Liberia institutions.

WFP is also partnering with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a drive to help end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa – getting to zero cases, and staying there. The project builds on the strengths  of the two organisations, enabling WHO health responders to focus on their expertise in infection prevention and control, epidemiology and contact tracing while WFP provides food assistance and expertise in logistics.

In late June, several new Ebola cases were discovered in Liberia, nearly two months after Liberia was declared Ebola-free. The World Food Programme (WFP) mobilised its response immediately, dispatching food to the affected areas within 24 hours to support community efforts to self-contain and prevent further spread of the virus. 

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Cash and Vouchers

From food aid to electronic money programme

In June, WFP launched an electronic voucher programme in Mingkaman, a settlement of mostly internally displaced persons (IDPs), located north of Juba. The IDPs and the local traders say they are already witnessing the benefits of the new system which allows WFP to gradually transition from food aid to an electronic money programme.

Amour Akouk and her extended family have been living in Mingkaman since fleeing their home when fighting erupted in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State in December 2013. They were among tens of thousands who used canoes to cross the White Nile to seek safety in what has become a sprawling settlement hosting over 70,000 people. All registered IDPs have been receiving cereals, pulses and fortified vegetable oil every month from WFP and its partners. But things are changing.

Offering more choice and diversity

In April, WFP introduced paper vouchers which people could use to buy food from selected shops. Two months later WFP changed to full electronic cards powered by SCOPE. SCOPE is an information management system that allows WFP to register beneficiaries, store information on the amount of food or money they are entitled to and, in the case of vouchers, transfer the specific amount onto the e-cards. Recipients will then use the electronic card to buy food items from selected shops.

“Today I received my e-card. I’m here at the market buying sugar, milk and flour because that’s what my children need,” Akouk said on the day WFP launched the new system. “I looked at what WFP provided us and made a choice about what my household still needs and what I can buy with the e-card money,” the 24-year-old mother added.  

In Mingkaman, WFP provides a full month’s ration of pulses and cooking oil and 70 percent of the cereal in hand, with 30 percent of the cereal as cash to the e-cards. The households can use their electronic cards at selected shops to redeem items. WFP has contracted 72 traders who each received a point-of-sale machine for them to use to perform transactions. 

The World Food Programme electronic voucher programme in South Sudan

Stimulating entrepreneurs and the local economy

Prior to the conflict, Mingkaman was a small village of a few thousand inhabitants. It had a small market with very little to offer. Ahmed Malmoudal, is one of the traders contracted by WFP. He has been living in the area for six years and opened one of the first shops here after he left his job as a driver for a road construction company. “Before the conflict there were not many establishments here, over the years more shops opened near mine. After December 2013, the place really grew and became very busy,” Malmoudal said. 

With the influx of people to the area, markets have swelled with new traders, like Yar Pancho, who identified the business opportunity to provide food goods. Yar who fled from Bor to Mingkaman with her five children, her mother, as well as her husband’s other two wives and their children, set up a shop shortly after she arrived and is now among the traders contracted by WFP.

“I have heard people talking about the new voucher programme. I knew it would bring me more customers, people with guaranteed money to spend,” Pancho said.  “I am excited about the business it will bring. I need to help provide for my family. [My husband’s] other wives are here today to see the start of the e-card system and support me as needed.”

Solving challenges in the new programme

This year, WFP has received assistance from the United Nations Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) to roll out its voucher programme in Mingkaman.

Shifting from food aid to an electronic form of assistance, however, has its challenges in South Sudan. The deteriorating economic situation has led to price hikes, which could affect the cash-based programmes. The resupply of stocks is a concern due to the remoteness of Mingkaman and the unreliable electricity needed to power the machines.  

To mitigate these challenges, WFP has provided solar panels to the traders to ensure continued power supply. It bases its transfers on thorough market price assessments and the traders who were selected have a track record of a constant stock of supplies.  

“When the voucher people asked if I could keep my shop supplied to meet the e-card food demands, I just smiled. I have a strong connection with Juba, my stocks don’t run out,” said 40-year-old Malmoudal.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is taking steps to diversify and improve the way it delivers food assistance in parts of South Sudan where there are functioning markets.

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1)    Boil the chicken breast first and let it absord its broth

2)   Rinse the rice and slice the eggplants before frying them in cooking oil

3)    Place the peanuts in hot water so they can easily peel

4)   Once peeled, fry the peanuts in a pan

5)    Next, pour half of the recipe's rice into water

6)   Add in the eggplants

7) Shred the chicken breasts into little pieces and add to the other ingredients, saving a little for later

8) Now add the remaining rice on top

9) Pour four cups of chicken broth into the dish and then let it cook for 10 minutes

10)  Serve the meal by adding the peanuts and remaining chicken pieces on top

Cash And Vouchers


Photo: WFP/Jane Howard

WFP delivers hundreds of thousands of tons of food each year, but, increasingly, we give hungry people cash or vouchers to buy food for themselves. Read More

E-Food


Photo: WFP/Eyad Al Baba

[story|647083|647020|646967|646655|646237|645486|645381|644980][donation-form]WFP uses innovative ways to deliver food assistance, such as scratch cards or “e-vouchers” sent to mobile phones by text message.
WFP and the Turkish Red Crescent launched the e-food card programme in 2012 in Turkey. The initative enables Syrian refugees to cook their own meals using fresh ingredients they can buy in the local markets. Read More

VoucherChef is also on VICE.COM check it out!

Welcome to The World Food Programme's (WFP) new recipe series. Explore the culinary treasures and cooking abilities of refugees who benefit from WFP's Cash And Vouchers, an initiative that allows individuals to buy the food they need to cook their traditional dishes.