The repercussions of the global financial crisis coupled with the massive influx of Syrian refugees has had dire consequences on the Jordanian economy. With public debt amounting to over seventy per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, the government has taken a number of measures to slash spending, including removal of fuel subsidies, and gradual lifting of electricity and water subsidies. During this transitional period, WFP is providing support to vulnerable Jordanians who are expected to be most impacted by these austerity measures.
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. It also plans to lay the basis for sustainable interventions with longer-term impact through food-for-assets/training activities that allows young men to hone their professional skills. WFP launched this training thanks to a donation from the US Government's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) in addition to contributions from the private sector companies in Jordan.
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. WFP is also providing school feeding in camps for Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Assistance for Syrian Refugees: WFP is providing food assistance to over 560,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan through electronic and paper vouchers. This programme has been contributing to job creation in Jordan, infrastructure investment, as well as generating additional tax revenues for the government. Refugees living in camps are also receiving daily fresh bread distributions; WFP is distributing over 20 tons of bread a day. To prevent and treat malnutrition in children under the age of 5 as well as in pregnant and nursing mothers, WFP is providing a specialized nutrition product, Super Cereal plus, with the aim of reaching almost 17,000 mothers and children.