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WFP introduces cash withdrawal for 70,000 refugees in Mafraq

By JT - Jun 07,2020 - Last updated at Jun 07,2020

Refugees living in Mafraq governorate use an ATM to withdraw assistance provided by WFP to cover food and other essential needs (Photo courtesy of WFP)

AMMAN — The World Food Programme (WFP) in Jordan introduced this month the cash withdrawal option for 70,00 refugees living in Mafraq governorate, completely shifting WFP’s food assistance for refugees living in host communities to unrestricted cash, a WFP statement said on Sunday.

Similar to the 300,000 refugees that WFP is supporting in other governorates, refugees living in Mafraq, some 80 kilometres northeast of Amman, can now redeem their assistance via an e-card at ATMs or from a network of 200 contracted shops located throughout the country, or through both, the statement said. 

This modality allows refugees to decide how to redeem the assistance they receive by buying food or covering other expenses, read the statement. 

“Having the option of either withdrawing cash or using the e-card at the supermarket makes it easier for me to buy the food my family needs,” the statement quoted Samar, a Syrian refugee living in Mafraq city, as saying.

According to WFP monitoring reports, unrestricted cash leads to similar or better food security than food-restricted vouchers. 

In Irbid, where the unrestricted cash modality is already implemented, the food security of refugees receiving WFP assistance has improved by 20 per cent, showing that families relied less on negative food-coping strategies like skipping meals and borrowing food, the statement said. 

“Unrestricted cash promotes empowerment and dignity by giving the refugees the choice of how to use it: By buying food commodities or covering other expenses, such as rent, health or education. During this critical period, WFP will continue providing a lifeline support to nearly half a million vulnerable refugees in Jordan,” said WFP Country Director and Representative Sarah Gordon-Gibson in the statement.

WFP is also implementing a range of activities, such as school feeding and livelihoods and capacity strengthening programmes for vulnerable Jordanians and refugees. 

 

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