UNICEF uses electronic vouchers to give Syrian refugee children access to winter clothes

7 January 2015

As Jordan braces for a winter storm in the next few days, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in partnership with the UN World Food Programme (WFP), today launched a winter cash assistance programme to provide vulnerable Syrian refugee children in Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps with monetary assistance to allow their families to buy them winter clothes.

“It is imperative to ensure that children are protected from the harsh weather conditions, so that they remain healthy and active, and continue to attend schooling,” said Robert Jenkins, UNICEF’s Representative in Jordan.

A UNICEF statement said that approximately 41,000 vulnerable children under the age of 14 will be targeted with the one-time cash assistance, worth about 14 Jordanian Dinars – almost $20 each – and they will be able to buy winter clothes, such as boots, gloves, trousers, coats and scarves using the existing WFP electronic food voucher programme (e-cards).

The assistance can be redeemed in WFP-contracted supermarkets in the refugee camps until 31 January 2015 and families are being informed through text messages, posters, flyers and awareness sessions with camp community leaders that the assistance is dedicated to meeting the winter clothing needs of their children.

“When we launched the WFP e-card programme, the vision was for other relief agencies to use this platform to provide their assistance to Syrian refugees,” said Dorte Jessen, WFP Deputy Emergency Coordinator in Jordan. “We are thrilled that UNICEF will be the first agency to reach Syrian refugees with their winterization programme through WFP e-cards in existing partner shops in the camps, meeting the urgent needs of providing winter clothing at the coldest time of the year.”


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