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UNICEF, WFP help vulnerable Syrian families keep their children warm

By JT - Jan 12,2015 - Last updated at Jan 12,2015

AMMAN — Syrian families in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps have started purchasing winter clothes for their children thanks to a winter cash assistance programme launched by UNICEF in partnership with WFP last Wednesday.

Under the initiative, 41,000 vulnerable Syrian refugee children under the age of 14 in the two camps were provided with JD14 each to enable their families to get them winter clothes, according to a joint statement issued by the two UN agencies.

The one-time cash assistance from UNICEF targets children from some 13,000 vulnerable families in the two camps through the existing WFP electronic food voucher programme (e-cards), the statement said. 

The UNICEF assistance can be used to buy boots, gloves, trousers, coats and scarves at WFP-contracted supermarkets in the camps until January 31, 2015. 

“It is imperative to ensure that children are protected from the harsh weather conditions, so that they remain healthy and active, and continue to attend schooling,” UNICEF Representative Robert Jenkins said. 

“UNICEF, in partnership with WFP, is supporting the winterisation programme through cash assistance, so that families are able to choose and buy necessary winter clothes for their children,” he added.

Refugee families in camps were informed through text messages, posters, flyers and awareness sessions with camp community leaders that the JD14 is for the winter clothing needs of their children, said the statement, which was released last week. 

“When we launched the WFP e-card programme, the vision was for other relief agencies to use this platform to provide their assistance to Syrian refugees,” the statement quoted WFP Deputy Emergency Coordinator in Jordan Dorte Jessen as saying. 

“We are thrilled that UNICEF will be the first agency to reach Syrian refugees with their winterisation programme through WFP e-cards in existing partner shops in the camps, meeting the urgent needs of providing winter clothing at the coldest time of the year.”

"The UNICEF winterisation programme in Jordan is reaching over 102,000 vulnerable children this winter in partnership with UNHCR, WFP and NGO partners. The cash assistance programme and in kind winterisation support has been made possible through the generous support from the governments of Canada, Germany and the USA through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration," the statement added.

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