As part of its massive humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is rolling out an innovative electronic voucher programme in Lebanon that will allow hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to meet their food needs and help boost the local economy.
“This is a real boon for Syrian refugees who have endured tremendous hardship over many months,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Emergency coordinator for the Syrian crisis. “The e-cards also bring business to local merchants, and they make WFP’s operations more time and cost effective. This is a win for all of us.”“By supporting WFP, we have developed a solution which combines our experience in payments and technology with WFP’s insight into the most pressing needs facing refugees,” said MasterCard’s Levant Market Manager, Basel El Tell. “It is very encouraging to see how the e-cards can positively impact the refugees as the initiative scales up across the region.” The e-cards reflect WFP’s broader shift away from physical food deliveries to vouchers and other cutting-edge forms of assistance that can be more effective and have a larger impact. So far in 2013, through voucher programmes for Syrian refugees, WFP has injected roughly US$ 192 million into the local economies of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. The Syria response is WFP’s largest and most complex emergency operation. WFP needs US$30 million each week to meet the needs of people affected by the conflict. WFP’s operations in Lebanon are being supported by Australia, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Norway, UK and the US, among others. Broadcast quality video is available here: http://www.hightail.com/download/OGhjK3BPYStFd2ZsZThUQw Photos available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mastercardnews/sets/72157636394484515/ WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance. Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media For more information please contact (email address: email@example.com): Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 207 2409001, Mob. +44 796 8008474 Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600, Mob. +20 0166634352
Laure Chadraoui, WFP/Beirut-Amman, Mob. + 962795917987 and +9613489925Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521 Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1 646 5566909, Mob. +1 6468241112 About MasterCard: MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews , join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.