COX’S BAZAR – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a brand-new electronic food card system to allow refugee families to choose the food they want and need in Nayapara and Kutupalong refugee camps, Cox’s Bazar.
More than 32,000 registered refugees from Myanmar living in two official refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, now access food in shops established in the camps. The United Nations World Food Programme launched the new ‘FoodCard’ system in Kutupalong camp last week and in Nayapara yesterday.
FoodCards are electronic vouchers loaded with a monthly per person value of BDT 730, and can be used to select food items from special shops opened within the camps. With the assistance of new registration data from the Government of Bangladesh and UNHCR, and a significant donation of US$1.5 million from the United States of America under USAID’s ‘Food for Peace’ program, WFP is now providing secure and dignified food assistance to over 32,000 refugees.
“FoodCards give refugee families the opportunity to choose the food they prefer, including fresh foods for the first time, such as leafy vegetables,” said Christa Räder, WFP Representative in Bangladesh, when she visited Kutupalong refugee camp last Saturday.
“In addition to providing refugees with access to a wider range of nutritious food items, the new system will enhance monitoring and help ensure the most effective use of resources for the refugees”, shared Mr. Farid Ahmed Bhuiyan, Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner of the Government of Bangladesh.
Each family now has a FoodCard with their entitlement loaded on a monthly basis. Up to three family members can use the card in combination with their biometric fingerprint, which is registered to their card alone. Ushida, a refugee living in Kutupalong camp visited one of the new shops with her family FoodCard for the first time on Saturday. “I feel so happy” she shared. “I was able to get fresh chillies, potatoes, and onions!”.
WFP has been working to provide food assistance in Kutupalong and Nayapara refugee camps since 1992. FoodCard e-vouchers replace the previous food distribution system, which provided a basic food basket to families.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.
For more information please contact: Christa Räder, Representative, WFP Bangladesh Tel. +880-2-9183022-33 (desk) firstname.lastname@example.org