ANKARA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) expanded today its food assistance programme into four new camps in Turkey doubling the number of Syrians that it now supports in Turkish camps to 80,000 people.
In line with the Government of Turkey’s request for WFP to provide food assistance to all Syrians in camps in Turkey, WFP and TRC started the distribution of Electronic Food Cards in the camps of Adana, Islahiye, Karkamis and Nizipi. With this expansion, WFP and TRC are now supporting over 40 per cent of the total camp population of Syrians in 11 out of the total 17 camps in Turkey.
Around 190,000 Syrians who fled violence in their country are now sheltering in Government-run camps in Turkey and the numbers are increasing daily. Since it launched its Electronic Food Card programme in Turkey in October 2012, WFP has provided food assistance to Syrians in Kilis camp, four camps in Hatay, one camp in Sanliurfa and one camp in Gaziantep.
“The E-Food Card is an innovative and efficient way of providing food assistance to Syrian families,” says Jean-Yves Lequime, WFP’s Head of Country Operations in Turkey. “Most importantly, these cards give vulnerable families the means to purchase and cook their own meals in an emergency situation such as in camps and provide them with a valuable sense of normalcy while also boosting the local economy.” he said.
The Electronic Food Card works like a typical credit card and is pre-loaded with 80 Turkish Liras (US$45) per family member per month. This is enough to purchase sufficient food items for a basic nutritious diet.
“The United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Japan and Switzerland have made very generous contributions to assist Syrian refugees in Turkey and the Turkish Government alone has already spent over US $650 million and shouldered the majority of the cost,” said Lequime. “We hope that the international community will demonstrate increasing solidarity with the Turkish Government to ensure that the most vulnerable Syrians do not go hungry.”
To be able to continue and expand its assistance in Turkey, WFP needs US$9.8 million until June 2013.
In total, WFP needs US$19 million each week in order to provide food assistance to 2.5 million people inside Syria and more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. To carry on its Syria response until June, WFP is in immediate need of US$81 million.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
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Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600 Mob. +2 010 666 34352
Laure Chadraoui, WFP/Beirut, Mob. +961 3 489925 (Lebanon) or +962 795917987 (Jordan)
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel: +41 22 917 8564 Mob. +41 79 4734570