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WFP Prioritises Most Needy Syrian Refugees For Food Assistance

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AMMAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is taking action to prioritise the most vulnerable families among the half a million Syrian refugees in Jordan who receive vital assistance in the form of vouchers for food. As a consequence, some 12,000 households who have access to sufficient income or support networks to meet their own food requirements will be removed from WFP’s monthly voucher programme.

The move follows the findings of the Comprehensive Food Security Monitoring Exercise (CFSME), a study conducted by WFP in early 2014 to evaluate the level of food security among registered Syrian refugees living in Jordanian communities. It found that 85 percent of Syrian refugee families would not have sufficient funds to put enough food on their table without the WFP voucher support. According to the study, Syrian refugee families are becoming increasingly vulnerable the longer they stay in Jordan and therefore more dependent on WFP food assistance to meet their basic food needs.

“In the early stages of an emergency operation, determining between those who are truly in need and those who are not is not feasible. As the crisis has continued, targeting of humanitarian assistance becomes essential and we have more information, which we have cross-checked in the field, to do so,” said Jonathan Campbell, WFP’s Emergency Coordinator for the Syrian refugees Operation in Jordan.

“Initially we asked families who did not need this assistance to inform us and a few families did volunteer to give up their entitlement. Now we are taking this further, since every cent spent on a family who is not in need of assistance is a cent taken from a family that is in need,” he added.

Refugees who will no longer be receiving this assistance have been informed of this decision and can appeal if they believe they have strong grounds that prove they need food assistance to get by. WFP is working closely with UNHCR and partners to monitor the programme and ensure that the assistance continues to reach those in need.

In Jordan, some 540,000 Syrian refugees, most of whom are living in Jordanian communities, benefit from monthly food assistance spent in local shops through innovative electronic vouchers to help them meet their food needs effectively. To date, WFP has injected over US$1/4 billion into the Jordanian economy.

WFP needs to raise US$35 million dollars every week to meet the food needs of families affected by the conflict in Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries.

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.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org): Joelle Eid, WFP/Amman, Mob. +962 79727 9403
Shada Moghraby, WFP/Amman, Mob.+962 797280924