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WFP Prioritizes Most Needy Syrian Refugees For Food Assistance In Jordanian Communities

AMMAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced this week that its food assistance for Syrian refugees living in Jordanian communities will be prioritized further to make sure support goes to those most in need.

“These are difficult choices for WFP, but every dollar spent on a family who can manage without it is a dollar taken from a family who desperately needs it,” said Jonathan Campbell, WFP Emergency Coordinator for the Syrian refugees operation in Jordan.

“We need to focus on the most vulnerable people to make sure their needs are met, even if unfortunately it means reducing the level of assistance for others.”

The aim is to ensure the focus is on the most vulnerable, but it will also mean that from April, 34,000 people will no longer receive WFP food vouchers. An additional 239,000 refugees will have the value of their vouchers reduced. These people have been advised of the decision by SMS messages and other means. However, 180,000 people considered the most vulnerable should still receive the full voucher value.

The decisions on the prioritization of food assistance are based on comprehensive interagency assessments and monitoring by UN agencies and NGO partners that measure the general living conditions of refugees and their ability to cope. Factors taken into account include the number of children in the family, the gender of the head of the family, household expenditure, debts, whether family members have disabilities and general living conditions.

WFP and its partners will monitor the situation closely to ensure that families most in need are assisted.

“So vulnerable families do not fall through the cracks, Syrian refugees affected by these decisions can appeal as soon as they are notified, if they believe they are in need of assistance,” Campbell said. Refugees may call a WFP hotline for more information.

WFP’s food voucher programme for Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries is the largest in the world, and is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. Nearly 2 million Syrian refugees, spread across five countries in the region, are assisted through WFP food vouchers every month.

In Jordan, WFP currently supports some 450,000 refugees living in Jordanian communities and over 90,000 living in camps. From January 2015, because of funding shortfalls, eligible Syrian refugees living in communities have received a reduced monthly entitlement of JOD13 instead of the original entitlement of JOD20. Some families will now see the value of their vouchers diminish further, from the current reduced JOD13 per month to JOD10 per month.

This is not the first time that WFP has prioritized refugees on the basis of vulnerability assessments. In Jordan the number of refugees receiving food assistance fell by almost 15 percent around the turn of the year, while in Lebanon in 2013 and early 2014, almost 30 percent of Syrian refugees stopped receiving assistance. Throughout the region, assessments are ongoing to prioritize those most in need who depend entirely on WFP assistance.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

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For more information please contact:
Shada Moghraby, WFP/Amman, Mob. +962 797280924
Joelle Eid, WFP/Amman, Mob. +962 79727 9403
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352