WFP Expands Food Assistance in Egypt to Include Refugees From Multiple Countries

Published May 31, 2019

CAIRO — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Egypt expanded on Wednesday its existing food assistance to refugees in the country to include populations other than Syrian refugees.

It is the first time WFP has included other nationalities since the start of its refugee assistance program in Egypt six years ago. This comes in line with its “one refugee” policy, which states that vulnerable refugees of different nationalities residing in one country receive equal access to assistance based on their needs.

Thanks to a generous contribution from USAID’s Office of Food For Peace, WFP can now reach an additional 24,000 registered refugees identified as ‘most vulnerable’. The refugees receive a monthly food voucher which they can use to purchase healthy food items at 50 locally-contracted retailers and secure their families’ basic food needs.

“Today, thanks to the contribution of USAID Food For Peace, we are starting a new chapter in our food assistance program, reaching out to more vulnerable refugees regardless of their nationality,” said Menghestab Haile, WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt. “We rely on the generosity of donors to reach a target of 50,000 vulnerable refugees from different nationalities by the end of 2019.”

Over half of the refugees residing in Egypt are from Syria, with the rest coming from Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan and Yemen. WFP has been assisting vulnerable Syrian refugees in Egypt since 2013, injecting some $148 million into the Egyptian economy through food vouchers and local food purchases.

Recent results from WFP’s food security analysis show that WFP food assistance has lifted more than one third of targeted refugees above the national income poverty line and has significantly contributed to their food security status.

WFP’s monitoring also shows that refugees receiving assistance rely on their food vouchers to buy essential food items like meat, eggs, dairy, oils and beans.

WFP has been in Egypt since 1968, working with the government to respond to humanitarian needs and tackle the underlying causes of vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.

The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters and laying the foundations for a better future. Follow us on Twitter @WFP_AR and @WFP_MENA