SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) succeeded this month in reaching 55,000 people in a hard-to-reach district of Taiz city, Al Qahira, providing food assistance through food vouchers using a local supplier’s network.
WFP launched this innovative way of delivering food assistance earlier this year in Sana’a City. It has since expanded to other parts of Yemen including Aden and Taiz, enabling WFP to reach more than 600,000 people compared to only 120,000 in February.
“Expanding our voucher assistance through a local supplier into Al Qahira is a major breakthrough that allows us to reach every person who needs our assistance,” said WFP Country Director in Yemen Purnima Kashyap. “Humanitarian partners have been struggling for months to deliver assistance to conflict-affected people inside Taiz city. Despite joint efforts and extensive negotiations, reaching those areas in previous months had been unpredictable, difficult to guarantee, and the short window of opportunity – when made available – meant the number of people we could reach was limited.”
The project, known as the Commodity-Voucher through Traders’ Network (CV-TN), allows WFP to supply food commodities to families through a contracted local retailer in exchange for vouchers.
Each voucher gives a one-month supply of wheat grain, pulses, vegetable oil, salt and sugar as well as Wheat Soya Blend (WSB) – a protein-rich blended food provided by WFP through the local supplier. The monthly entitlement is enough to cover the needs of a family of six people.
WFP plans to expand its voucher reach to the Al Mudhaffar district of Taiz governorate.
“Expanding the programme to hard-to-reach areas across Yemen is an effective way of addressing access challenges as well as speeding up the delivery of food assistance,” added Kashyap. “This approach capitalizes on the presence of markets that are working in the areas where we use it, so as well as helping vulnerable families, it also gives a much-needed boost to the local market.”
Thanks to contributions from Germany and the UK Department for International Development (DIFD), WFP has been able to maintain and expand assistance through vouchers. However, WFP requires additional funds to be able to reach a targeted 1 million people across Yemen through the voucher system by the end of this year.
A recent study found that more Yemenis are slipping into hunger, with 7 million people who are severely food insecure – a level of need that requires urgent food assistance. WFP has been providing food assistance to 6 million people every two months --rotating assistance between families in greatest need due to limited resources.
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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.
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
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Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993