WFP Syria: Delivery at Dawn

Reaching Syrian refugees has been a collaborative effort by the entire humanitarian community. WFP is working with partners to ensure delivery of vital assistance, and Zaatari Camp in Jordan is one of these examples.


Every day before the sun comes up, three trucks from WFP’s contracted bakeries ‘Jawad’ and ‘Luminus’ begin their journey in the darkness to deliver 17.5 tonnes of freshly baked bread to feed the entire population of Syrian refugees in Zaatari Camp, Jordan. (To put this into perspective, this is equivalent of more than 100 twenty-foot containers full of bread stacked on top of each other every month).  

The trucks have to reach the camp between 6:00 and 6:30 am in order for the bread to be offloaded and made ready for the 7:00 am daily distribution. To meet the increasing needs at the camp, the bakeries have to begin baking the bread at 11 pm the night before. Baking takes place through the night and is completed by 3:30 am. It is then carefully loaded onto the trucks for delivery to the camp. The sealed trucks are specially designed to allow the bread to reach the beneficiaries ‘oven-fresh’. These early morning deliveries have been continuing daily for the last four months.

WFP’s Logistics, Programme, and Procurement teams in Jordan, along with partner Save the Children, have worked tirelessly to establish the current system, procuring the bread locally in sufficient quantities and the right quality for the refugees at the camp, preparing the distribution and ensuring the refugees receive the correct ration. WFP continue to assess bakeries regularly in order to meet growing needs at the camp.

It takes approximately one hour to reach Zaatari Camp from Amman. Even during the recent snow, when large parts of the country’s transport system ground to a halt, the bakery trucks still delivered the bread on time.  

The bread is distributed to beneficiaries by WFP’s partner Save the Children from two Mobile Storage Units, procured from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai, and specially set up by WFP Logistics for this purpose. Coupons are provided to the camp residents once every two weeks. Each family gets a two-week coupon tailored to their family size. Each person then receives four loaves of freshly baked bread.

Thousands of families line up every day at 7 am to collect the bread to feed their children and survive another day away from their homes, far from the sounds of gunfire and bombs across the border. Thanks to the partnership between WFP and Save the Children, all families receive the bread within just two and a half hours every morning.