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UNICEF, WFP helping Syrian children weather ‘harsh winter’ in Jordan

By JT - Dec 14,2015 - Last updated at Dec 14,2015

AMMAN — UNICEF and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a cash assistance programme that will allow vulnerable Syrian families in Zaatari and Azraq camps to buy winter clothes for all their children, a joint statement from the two agencies said.

This is the second year that UNICEF and WFP are partnering to provide support to vulnerable Syrian children during the winter, according to the statement, which was released Monday.

The one-time cash grant from UNICEF will provide JD20 each to a total of 51,851 children under the age of 18 in the two camps. 

The assistance will be delivered through electronic food vouchers (e-cards) provided by WFP to Syrian families to buy food every month. 

The money can be used to buy winter clothes at WFP-contracted supermarkets in the camps until mid-January 2016, the statement said.

“UNICEF’s top priority during the harsh winter months in Jordan is to ensure that vulnerable families are able to keep their children warm, healthy and active, and continue to attend schools and learning programmes,” the statement quoted UNICEF Representative to Jordan Robert Jenkins as saying. 

“Our partnership with WFP is highly significant as it enables us to use their cost efficient e-cards to provide support to every child in the two camps this winter,” he added.

Families in the camps are being informed through SMS, posters, flyers and awareness sessions with camp community leaders that the UNICEF cash assistance is for the winter needs of their children.

“We are very excited to partner with UNICEF again, particularly at such a crucial time in the year,” said WFP Jordan Country Director Mageed Yahia. 

“This collaboration demonstrates our solid commitment to the wellbeing of the children we support and brings to life WFP’s vision for stronger interagency partnership in Jordan,” the statement quoted him as saying.

UNICEF is reaching around 150,000 vulnerable children this winter in camps and host communities in Jordan with cash assistance and in-kind winter clothing in partnership with UNHCR, WFP and NGO partners. 

Through its e-card programme, WFP provides monthly food assistance to 523,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees in camps and communities in Jordan.

 

The 2015-2016 winterisation programme has been made possible through support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, and the governments of Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, the statement said.

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