Jordan’s economic situation has deteriorated drastically over the past five years. The repercussions of the global food, fuel and financial crisis have eroded most of the economic gains the country has made. The situation has been further aggravated by the Syrian crisis which resulted in massive cross border movement of Syrian refugees. Public debt has reached alarming levels representing over 70 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Accordingly, the government has taken a number of measures to reduce spending, including cuts in social safety net programmes such as the fuel subsidy, and at later stage electricity and water subsidies. WFP has been requested to provide support to vulnerable Jordanians during this transition period.
Assistance to Food Insecure and Vulnerable Jordanians: WFP launched in December 2013 an 18-month assistance programme to assist 160,000 vulnerable Jordanians affected by the extended economic crisis through cash and food transfers. WFP plans to enhance the food security status of targeted beneficiaries by addressing short-term food needs through direct food assistance as well as lay the basis for more sustainable interventions with longer-term impact through food-for-assets/training activities.
School Feeding: WFP is assisting the government in implementing a national school meals programme from end of 2013 until 2016 reaching up to 320,000 school children in the most vulnerable and food insecure areas.
Assistance to Syrian Refugees: The unrest in Syria has resulted in a cross border influx towards Jordan. WFP is providing food assistance to over 550,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan in both camp and urban settings through electronic and paper food vouchers, food and bread distributions and its school feeding programme. WFP began its operations in 2012 by providing hot meals to Syrian refugees in Zaatari refugee camp and vouchers in urban settings. WFP has since then transitioned to food distributions followed by vouchers in Zaatari camp and has expanded its operations in communities, reaching in December 2013 over ﬁve times as many people as it did at the beginning of the year.