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WFP Launches Its First Cash Assistance To Address Food Needs In Eastern Ukraine

KIEV – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun cash distributions in government controlled areas in Luhansk and Donetsk region to 60,000 people – mostly internally displaced – who have been badly affected by the crisis in Ukraine.

“WFP is using cash transfers, in areas where banks and markets are functioning, to restore some normalcy to people’s otherwise shattered lives,” said WFP’s Representative in Ukraine Giancarlo Stopponi. “Both cash and food voucher assistance allow people to go to the market and pick the food they prefer and this includes fresh vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products – items that are not normally included in traditional food ration. It also gives a boost to markets and injects money into the local economy.”

The first round of cash distributions began this week in northern Luhansk region through WFP’s partner Mercy Corps. Each person will receive the equivalent of approximately US$20.50 per month to purchase food. While those receiving the money are free to spend it as they want, given the food security situation in this region it is likely that most of the cash will be spent on food. WFP is providing 140,000 people with either cash transfers or food vouchers.

As the conflict continues, people are experiencing shortages of food and their nutritional status deteriorates. WFP has expanded its emergency operation to provide food assistance – through food distributions, cash transfers and food vouchers – for more than 575,000 people until the end of the year. This includes 20,000 children who will receive locally-purchased supplementary food assistance for a period of six months to prevent a further deterioration of their nutritional status and health. WFP was previously providing food assistance to close to 200,000 people.  

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has affected 5 million people, including at least 1.7 million children. WFP prioritizes the most vulnerable population groups amongst residents, returnees, IDPs and host communities and children at risk of malnutrition.

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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:

Deborah Nguyen, WFP/Kiev, Tel. +380 (98) 064 1073
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +20 10 6663 4352
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646 525 9982