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IFAD and WFP support Tunisian government in assisting vulnerable families affected by Covid-19 in Siliana under IFAD’s project “PROFITS” and the UN MPTF

SILIANA – Within the framework of a project promoting value chains for the territorial development of Siliana, financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) – in cooperation with the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs – has started its first ever cash transfers in Tunisia. The three-month initiative is designed to help more than 530 families from the Siliana region whose children are no longer receiving school meals due to the closure of schools during the COVID-19 crisis.

Families of children attending five primary schools (El Fdhoul, Sodga, El Harriya, FondokDebich and Bou Abdallah) served by WFP’s school meals programme will now receive a fixed and unconditional cash transfer of 200 TND (about US$70) to help them meet their basic food needs. The cash transfer supplements the monthly allowance provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs to families who are part of its social protection programme.


“The socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Tunisia gives cause for concern with poverty and malnutrition levels threatening to rise even further,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Tunisia, Fatimata Sow Sidibé. “WFP implements school feeding in poorer communities where people have lost their jobs or incomes due to lockdown measures and are now unable to put basic food items on the table. Replacing the children’s school meals in this way will help meet their nutritional needs while schools are closed.”


Families will receive a message on their mobile phones with a code to redeem their entitlements. They then show up at a post office and use the code and their national ID to collect their cash. Thanks to funding from IFAD, WFP is working with its implementing partner Islamic Relief Tunisia which will coordinate and monitor the scheme in alignment with other activities under the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (COVID-19 MPTF).


WFP supports the Government of Tunisia with its National School Feeding Programme under the terms of WFP’s five-year plan for Tunisia (2018-2022) – this aims to strengthen the capacity of national institutions to deliver enhanced school meals and social protection programmes with a view to improving the National School Feeding Programme.


WFP last year signed an agreement with the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture – Regional Commissariat for Agricultural Development of Siliana (CRDA) – to promote local agricultural development and better nutrition through innovative, home-grown school feeding programmes in the south of Siliana governorate. The cooperation forms part of IFAD’s project “PROFITS” (Projet de promotion de filières pour le développement territorial de Siliana).


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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


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Aziza Bouhejba, WFP/Tunis, Mob. +216 58 751 620

Fatimata Sow Sidibé, WFP