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WFP welcomes additional $13.1 million USAID contribution for refugees in Jordan

By JT - Aug 15,2020 - Last updated at Aug 15,2020

USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance’s contribution will enable the WFP to meet the immediate needs of 41,000 refugees whose socio-economic situation has deteriorated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the UN agency (Photo courtesy of WFP)

AMMAN — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has expressed gratitude to USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance for the contribution of $13.1 million to support an additional 41,000 vulnerable refugees with food and nutrition assistance in response to COVID-19.

The contribution will enable the WFP to meet the immediate needs of 41,000 refugees whose socioeconomic situation has deteriorated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, driving them into poverty and food insecurity, according to a statement from the UN agency.

“The United States government is committed to partnership with the Government of Jordan to respond to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Jordan.  Together we are strengthening the national systems for infection prevention and laboratory testing and addressing the needs of vulnerable Jordanian and refugee households,” USAID Acting Mission Director Margaret Spears was quoted in the statement as saying. 

With USAID’s support, the WFP is already assisting nearly 500,000 refugees hosted in the two main refugee camps, as well as those living in communities, with monthly cash assistance.

Refugees living in camps can spend their monthly cash transfer on food at WFP’s contracted supermarkets and bakeries, while those living in communities can either redeem their assistance at any of the nearly 200 shops, or by withdrawing cash from 800 ATMs across the country, thus covering their food needs, the statement said.

The programme also supports over 10,000 refugees in greatest need from other countries, mainly from Iraq, Yemen and Somalia.

“We are grateful for the continuous support we receive from USAID, especially during the difficult times following the COVID-19 pandemic. The vulnerability of many refugees has worsened, and the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic is driving them into increased food insecurity. This contribution is very timely, and represents a lifeline for many refugees,” said WFP Country Director and Representative Sarah Gordon-Gibson in the statement.

WFP Jordan has pioneered innovative technological solutions to facilitate the delivery of this cash-based assistance and monthly transfers of around $13.1 million. This includes using blockchain and iris-scanning systems that increase security, efficiency and transparency, while also reducing costs, the statement said.

 The US is the largest donor to WFP’s humanitarian programme, with a total contribution of $73.1 million in 2019 and $77 million for 2020, concluded the statement.

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