Hope Looks Like: Dignity In Hand

Displacement Emergency Response Innovation Lebanon Syria
Global News/Leslie Young

Updated April 25, 2018

WFP’s e-vouchers might look like regular prepaid debit cards, but for Syrians like Ali Farhat, they represent a lifeline for his family as the crisis enters its 8th year.

Launched in 2013, WFP’s e-voucher program has transformed how the agency reaches Syrian refugees across the Middle East.

Ali was among the first Syrians in Lebanon to receive an e-voucher, which can be redeemed in local markets. Instead of waiting in line to receive rations like flour, rice and oil, the father of four can shop for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy, which improves his family’s dietary diversity and restores dignity and choice to one of the most fundamental aspects of life.

The innovative tool—made possible with support from Mastercard—also reduces the cost of transporting and storing food, and has injected more than $1 billion into the economies of neighboring Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

With something as simple as a card that fits into the palm of your hand, WFP is delivering hope—and restoring dignity—to millions of Syrian families who dream of returning to a normal life.

Watch “60 Minutes” coverage of WFP’s e-voucher program.