Displaced women in Zam Zam camp for internally displaced people in North Darfur queue to collect their food vouchers. Most of those who came to collect the family’s vouchers are women. Set up in 2004 and located 14 kilometres south of the North Darfur’s capital El Fasher, Zam Zam camp currently hosts more than 117,500 displaced people making it the largest camp for displaced people in the conflict-affected region.
On the first day of the distribution, some 3,000 people turned up to collect their vouchers and shop for food. WFP is already using food vouchers in North Darfur in Abu Shouk and Al Salam camps as well as for both local residents and displaced people in Kabkabiya and Saraf Omra localities.
The German Agro Action (GAA) managed the vouchers distribution in Zam Zam camp with a total of 24 staff members deployed to ensure a systematic and efficient distribution. GAA also helped in planning and preparing the launch of the programme in Zam Zam.
Displaced women sit in the holding area while waiting for their turn to collect their vouchers. Besides managing distributions, GAA rehabilitated the holding area and the toilets to make sure that all those who come to collect their vouchers are comfortable and safe and the whole process is convenient for everyone.
WFP Head of Programme for North Darfur Area Office Mohamed Ali talks to people at the distribution site. Ali oversaw the food voucher programme when it was first piloted in Kabkabiya, North Darfur. WFP first introduced food vouchers Darfur in January 2011 in Kabkabiya and Saraf Omra localities for both local residents and displaced people.
A displaced man showing the registration card for he will use to receive a food voucher worth 38 Sudanese Pounds (approximately US$6.4). Thanks to generous contributions from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), WFP is now implementing food voucher assistance in three camps and in two communities in North Darfur benefitting close to 400,000 vulnerable and food-insecure people.
Huwa Hussein Adam, a 30-year-old housewife and mother of three, receives a total of five vouchers, one for herself and one for each member of her family. The five vouchers have a total value of 190 Sudanese Pounds (approximately US$32).
Huwa submits her vouchers to a shop assistant to calculate the total price of the food items she wants to buy using her vouchers. WFP contracted 45 traders to set up mobile shops at a designated spot in the camp. The traders stock up on 14 food items that include pulses, flour, rice, oil, dried vegetables as well as fresh produce, dairy products and meat that cannot be included in traditional food baskets.
A price list hangs in one of the shops. Every month, the Price Monitoring Committee reviews and determines the value of vouchers based on prevailing market prices of the selected 14 food items. The Committee is comprised of camp and other traditional leaders, GAA representatives and selected WFP staff members.
Huwa also buys some groundnut oil. The voucher programme enables Huwa and other displaced people living in Zam Zam camp to buy locally and culturally preferred food such as sorghum, millet, groundnut oil, dried okra and dried tomatoes.
With five vouchers, Huwa was able to buy 20 kg of sorghum, 20 kg of millet, 3 bottles of groundnut oil, 1 kg of onions, two packs of flour, 2 kg of sugar and 400 grams of salt. "We took home only three kinds of foods before, but now I’m able to get a variety of items," said Huwa.
This group of women head home already thinking of the various meals they will cook using the food stock they got that day. Most women in Zam Zam camp say they are quite happy with the wide choice the voucher assistance gives them and their ability to buy what they want in the exact quantities they need.