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With EU Support, WFP Doubles Number Of Refugee Camps Supported With Cash In Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – Today, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is launching cash transfers in support of Sudanese refugees living in Tongo and Sherkole camps in western Ethiopia.

WFP has recently expanded its use of cash transfers to several other camps across Ethiopia, and, with the addition of the two new sites, now supports 10 refugee camps with cash. This increase has been made possible thanks to the valuable support of WFP’s donors and, in particular, a new contribution of €85 million (approximately US$92 million) from the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department, which will also help strengthen the resilience of Ethiopians affected by El Niño and support the WFP-led logistics cluster.

“Despite the immense challenges posed by the worst drought in decades, Ethiopia has maintained its open-door policy for refugees.  Thanks to the EU’s humanitarian assistance, WFP can support the government's efforts by maximizing the efficiency and impact of our refugee response through the delivery of cash,” said John Aylieff, WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Ethiopia.

WFP intends to further scale up its cash distributions after the impact of El Niño subsides, when food prices are expected to decrease in local markets used by the refugees. WFP plans to introduce cash transfers in camps in the Gambella and Afar regions, in support of South Sudanese and Eritrean refugees.

“In recent years, the EU has supported WFP in taking significant steps to help refugees in Ethiopia. Our humanitarian aid has the key objective of saving lives and helping the most vulnerable in need. And giving people greater choices in how they feed their families can help them live with more dignity, as well as increase the cost-efficiency of humanitarian assistance,” said Johan Heffinck, Head of the Ethiopia Office for the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department.

Ethiopia is currently home to more than 700,000 refugees, the highest number in any country in Africa.  Out of these, WFP supports more than 600,000 with essential monthly food rations, including a growing number who receive cash as well. 

WFP is scaling up cash-based assistance following a thorough assessment of the local markets and consultations with beneficiaries regarding their preferences.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

In 2015, WFP and the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department worked together to provide food assistance in 43 countries across the world.  

Follow us on Twitter @WFP_Ethiopia, @WFP_Africa, @WFP_Europe

For more information please contact (email address:
Melese Awoke, WFP/Ethiopia: Tel. + 251 115 172 133
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi: Tel. +254 707 722 104