E-Cards Provide Food For Syrian Refugees
The United Nations World Food Program, or WFP, is working in partnership with the Turkish Red Crescent to provide food for Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Electronic cards, or e-cards, are being distributed to some 25,000 Syrians in the Kilis and Hatay refugee camps.
The e-cards can be used at supermarkets, and are loaded with 45 U.S. dollars.
This is considered adequate to provide basic food needs for the card holder for one month.
The scheme also benefits the local economy, and will be expanded to help more refugees.
One recipient is Abu Naif, a 41-year-old construction worker who fled Syria with eleven family members, including his two-day-old son.
Naif and his family now live in a pre-fabricated structure in Kilis camp.
[Abu Naif, Syrian Refugee]:
"There was nowhere to go because of the air strikes. The only escape was to go to Turkey. So, I took the kids and came to Turkey.”
The WFP regional director says the e-cards enable refugees to buy food without having to pay.
[Daly Belgasmi, Regional Director for the WFP]:
"WFP and the Turkish Red Crescent have developed this card, which is a kind of credit card where the refugees will go to a great supermarket, that we just visited, full of great fresh food.”
The Turkish government estimates some 100,000 Syrians have fled to Turkey to avoid the violence, with the number growing daily.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are also increasing.
Relief organizations aim to provide food assistance to up to 460,000 vulnerable people by the end of the year.