William engages in a discussion with another humanitarian worker representing INTERSOS, WFP’s distribution partner in Bekaa valley. Together, they are making sure that food distributions are conducted efficiently and in a way that upholds the dignity of refugees. “Without WFP, hundreds of thousands of people would not have any food to eat,” William says as he explains his daily work. “We are making a difference to people who have lived through tragedies, injustice or are traumatized.”
William responds to a query by a Syrian refugee about the paperwork she needs to complete in order to receive a WFP electronic card. The card will allow her to purchase food items of her choice for herself and her family from local shops in Bekaa. Refugees can use the card to buy beans, oil, rice, butter, meat and chicken, among other options.
Registered refugees queue up to receive their WFP electronic cards. Their registration numbers are called out by WFP’s partners. William conducts monitoring visits to check that all steps of the process are well-organized. “Refugees are reliant on our assistance, it is reliable and efficient,” says William. “We are not only providing basic food for refugees, we are helping them preserve their dignity.”
At the distribution center, refugees gather inside a big hall, waiting for their registration numbers to be called out. The refugees’ identification and registration documents are checked by the distribution organizations. Registered refugees sign beside their names on a sheet of paper then head to another desk to receive their electronic cards. William coordinates with the distribution organization to make sure the process runs efficiently.
William plays with Syrian refugee children in the child-friendly corner, made especially for them, in front of the food distribution centre. While their parents are picking up their cards, the children wait in an area where they can enjoy games and engage in handicrafts, accompanied by babysitters and teachers. “Being a humanitarian worker is so enriching on the personal level. It made me more responsible, it pushed me to challenge myself and become a different person,” William says.
William attends a food and non-food items distribution coordination meeting conducted at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and attended by WFP and other partners. “I feel so proud being part of WFP’s team,” says William. “Despite the challenges and risks, we are managing to be efficient and our assistance is consistent. We are contributing to reaching the most vulnerable of refugees.”
13 March 2015 Syria: Sundus, The Girl Against The Odds
17 February 2015 Syrians Coping With Refugee Life In Turkey