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France contributes 500,000 euros to WFP’S food assistance for Syrian refugees

By JT - Apr 09,2014 - Last updated at Apr 09,2014

AMMAN — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a fresh contribution of 500,000 euros ($684,000) from the government of France towards its emergency food assistance programmes supporting thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan. 

WFP is assisting more than half-a-million Syrian refugees in camps and communities in Jordan, mainly through monthly food vouchers valued at JD24 (24 euros) per person, the agency said in a statement sent to The Jordan Times on Wednesday. 

With food vouchers, refugee families are able to purchase the food items of their choice at local shops across the country, including dairy, meat and produce, which are not usually included in food rations, the WFP statement said.  

“France is very concerned by the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis related to Syria and its impact on neighbouring countries, especially Jordan,” French Ambassador to Jordan Caroline Dumas said. 

“France commends the immense efforts of the Jordanian government and of the Jordanian people in welcoming into the Kingdom hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing a country at war. To bring some help, France has decided to confirm its support to the excellent WFP programmes supporting the Syrian refugees in Jordan,” the statement quoted Dumas as saying.

WFP is working to ensure that its food assistance for Syrian refugees in Jordan provides families with the food and nutrition they need while also giving back to the host country. 

“In the face of severe funding constraints, WFP relies on the generous contributions of donors like France to continue responding to the food needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan,” said Jonathan Campbell, WFP’s emergency coordinator for Syria refugees in Jordan. “Thanks to France, WFP will be able to provide food vouchers to more than 20,350 Syrian refugees in Jordan this month,” he noted.

The voucher programme helps to promote local production and employment as well as giving a much-needed boost to local markets and the Jordanian economy, the statement said. 

Food vouchers also provide families with a sense of normality and dignity when they shop in local markets among local Jordanians, according to the agency.

As the conflict in Syria enters its fourth year, on average some 150 families are fleeing to Jordan each day. WFP still needs to raise 175 million euros ($240 million) to meet the food needs of an expected 710,000 refugees who will need food assistance in Jordan in 2014. This would not be possible without the commitment and support of all donors, the WFP statement said.

To date, France has contributed a total of 5 million euros ($6,651,583) to WFP’s programme assisting Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, including 1.5 million euros for Jordan.  

The world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance last year.

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