AMMAN, 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 41,000 vulnerable Syrian refugee children under the age of 14 in Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps with 14 Jordanian Dinars (JOD) each, to allow their families to get them winter clothes.
The one-time cash assistance from UNICEF will target children from nearly 13,000 vulnerable families in the two camps through the existing WFP electronic food voucher programme (e-cards).
The UNICEF assistance can be used to buy winter clothes, such as boots, gloves, trousers, coats and scarves at WFP-contracted supermarkets in the camps until 31 January 2015.
Refugee families in camps are being informed through SMS, posters, flyers and awareness sessions with camp community leaders that the JOD 14 amount is for the winter clothing needs of their children.
“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 Representative. “UNICEF, in partnership with WFP, is supporting the winterization programme through cash assistance, so that families are able to choose and buy necessary winter clothes for their children,” he added.
“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.”
The UNICEF winterization programme in Jordan is reaching over 102,000 vulnerable children this winter in partnership with UNHCR, WFP and NGO partners. The cash assistance programme and in kind winterization support has been made possible through the generous support from the governments of Canada, Germany and the USA through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.