DUBAI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today thanked the International Humanitarian City (IHC) for its US$ 1 million contribution that helped WFP feed 30,000 Syrian refugees living in camps in Jordan during the month of January as they faced a severe snow storm.

The donation came as part of a UAE nationwide fundraising campaign (Tarahamou), and in line with the directives of the UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the follow up of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice – President Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai to increase the support to those affected by the blizzards hitting the region.

“ We are inspired by the UAE leadership and their generosity to help needy people around the word” HE Shaima Al Zarooni , IHC CEO added, “ Our coordination with WFP to secure food for the Syrian refugees through the voucher system enabled direct and immediate action, where time is critical in saving lives”.

“This contribution was channeled to vulnerable Syrian refugees through the WFP voucher system providing vital food assistance and saving their lives. It was also a very timely response from the IHC as our funding had reached critical levels, but fortunately the voucher system meant we could immediately channel the money to refugees in need. We are very grateful,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Emergency Coordinator for the Syria Crisis.

WFP has an innovative system for the provision of emergency food assistance to Syrian refugees; instead of giving them food, WFP provides electronic vouchers that work like debit cards allowing refugees to buy the food that they need from supermarkets built inside the camps.

“The beauty of the electronic voucher system is that WFP can ensure that food assistance continues undisrupted even during unforeseen emergencies such as a the terrible snow storm that hit the region last month, as the cards are loaded automatically with money allowing refugees to buy food items from nearby stores and to stock up during bad weather,” said Hadi.

In 2015, WFP is providing monthly food assistance to about 7 million Syrians in need – 4.5 million in Syria and about 2.6 million in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. The agency requires immediately a total of US$215 million to support operations in Syria and the five neighboring countries during the upcoming months (US$102 million for food assistance throughout the region and US$ 113 million for inside Syria).

WFP is entirely funded by voluntary contributions from donor countries, individuals, and private donors and continues to rely on them to secure additional funds.

The UAE Government has continuously shown its solidarity with the plight of the Syrian people. In 2014, it made a generous contribution of US$31 million towards WFP emergency humanitarian operations for the Syria crisis.

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 75 countries.

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