UK government has committed three-year funding agreement worth £32 million (US$39.3 million) with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Jordan. The UK’s new funding makes it the third largest contributor to WFP’s activities in the country.
The funding from the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) will support WFP’s assistance through cash transfers to 480,000 of the most vulnerable refugees in Jordan, including all Syrians living in the Zaatari and Azraq camps and around 10,000 refugees from other countries such as Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.
WFP Representative and Country Director in Jordan, Sarah Gordon-Gibson said, “We are delighted to welcome DFID as new partner for WFP in Jordan and are extremely grateful for the generosity of their commitment. The new funding is a very important contribution to our core food assistance programme through cash transfers, directly supporting refugees to meet their essential food and nutrition needs or cover vital expenses.”
Refugees can spend their monthly cash transfer on food in WFP’s partner supermarkets. Those living outside the camps also have the option of redeeming the transfer as cash and using the money to support their other basic needs such as rent, healthcare or education. Research has shown that offering this choice leads to similar or better food security outcomes.
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WFP Jordan has pioneered innovative technological solutions to facilitate the delivery of this cash-based assistance. This includes using a blockchain and iris-scanning system that increases security, efficiency and transparency, while also reducing costs.
Head of DFID Jordan, Charles Harper said, “We are very pleased to sign this agreement between DFID and WFP which will provide important assistance to vulnerable communities. Our contribution to this programme represents our continued support to refugees in Jordan who have been affected by conflicts in the region.”
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Sarah Gordon-Gibson and Charles Harper today signed the Memorandum of Understanding to confirm the new WFP-UK partnership. The first instalment of funds is due to be released this month.