480,000 refugees assisted in April 2020
US$ 122 million six months net funding requirements (May - October 2020)
• General food assistance (GFA) through cash-based transfers in support of 480,000 refugees in camps and communities, as well as technical assistance to the Government are ongoing at the same scale. WFP has a presence in both Azraq and Zaatari camps through field staff.
• To allow refugees access to food commodities before the beginning of Ramadan, WFP reloaded May cash assistance for refugees on 20 April (earlier than originally planned). A staggered approach was adapted in camps, using blockchain technology, to limit overcrowding at contracted shops.
• Cash distribution for 1,000 Syrian refugee families, who were on leave permits when the curfew started and have not managed to return to camps, will start in May in collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Due to the different modalities utilized in camps and communities, refugees can only redeem their assistance at WFP’s contracted shops in refugee camps via blockchain as e-vouchers.
• WFP deployed mobile ATMs to rural areas in Irbid and Mafraq to address accessibility issues which refugees are facing in redeeming their cash assistance in communities (with a focus on people with disabilities and those residing in remote areas). WFP is following WHO and the Ministry of Health regulations to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. In addition to the use of facemasks and gloves, hand sanitizers are available for refugees to use and the ATMs are regularly being disinfected.
• WFP started door-to-door card distributions for around 3,000 refugees in communities who either lost or damaged their cards through its partner. A protocol for safe distribution during COVID-19 was developed. WFP is following up with families via call surveys to confirm that they have received their cards.
• As a contingency plan, WFP prepositioned 500 food parcels (each sufficient for a family of five for a month). Parcels will be stored at a WFP warehouse and will be dispatched as needs arise. WFP is also repositioning approximately 4,000 welcome meals to Zaatari and Azraq camps for refugees moving from communities to camps.
• WFP is supporting Syrian refugees returning from communities to Azraq camp, who are currently in self-isolation at the designated area set up by UNHCR, through the provision of meals and bread.
• WFP complaint and feedback mechanism operates through two channels, the call-centre and the physical helpdesks in camps. The call-centre responds to an average of 2,300 calls per week from refugees on WFP’s food assistance. Most inquiries are related to reload of cash assistance, inclusion requests in WFP's programme, and e-card distribution. The helpdesks in both camps receive around 200 inquiries per week. Both men and women of all age groups access the channels and inquire on the same types of issues.
• WFP continues to disseminate key messages to refugees on COVID-19 lockdown updates, access to assistance, shops opening hours and food safety through WhatsApp, text messages, and social media.