AMMAN – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) Ambassador Against Hunger Amal Dabbas spent a day shopping and cooking with a Syrian family in Amman to increase awareness on the importance of WFP’s food assistance in ensuring Syrian refugees have access to the food and nutrition they need.
The Jordanian comedian visited a WFP voucher distribution in Amman where she met a Syrian family that fled Syria nearly one year ago. Together they went grocery shopping at a local market using the vouchers and cooked mujadara, a traditional Syrian dish made with lentils, bulgur wheat and onions.
“It was very touching and a privilege for me to be welcomed into Um Rafat’s home, to hear her story, and connect with her and her family,” said Dabbas. “It was very emotional to hear about the loss of Um Rafat’s two eldest sons in Syria and the hardship she has faced living as a refugee, but I was happy to be able to use comedy to put a smile on her face while we cooked and ate together.”
WFP is assisting over half a million Syrian refugees living in camps and communities in Jordan mainly through monthly food vouchers valued at 24 Jordanian Dinars per person. Food vouchers allow families to purchase the food items of their choice at local shops across the country, including dairy, meat and produce, which are not usually included in WFP food rations. Since the programme started in August 2012, Syrian refugees have redeemed a total of US$100 million worth of vouchers in regular Jordanian shops.
“It’s very important for all of us in Jordan to connect with individuals who have been affected by the conflict in Syria and remember that we each have a responsibility to do something to help our Syrian brothers and sisters,” said Dabbas. “I am very pleased that WFP’s voucher programme enables refugees to buy food in a dignified manner.”
WFP is working to ensure that its food assistance for Syrian refugees in Jordan provides families with the food and nutrition they need while also giving back to the host country. The voucher programme helps to promote local production and employment and it also gives a much needed boost to the local markets and the Jordanian economy. In addition to continued support for Syrian refugees, WFP will extend its school feeding project to support 320,000 Jordanian school children across the country in 2014.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
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