WFP Launches First Food Voucher Programme In Central African Republic
This innovative form of food assistance allows recipients to choose local foods, giving them a greater sense of normality.
Thanks to contributions from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, WFP began distributing the first vouchers in the western village of Yaloké.
“Most of our livestock had been looted during this crisis. This food voucher will allow us to get milk for our children, and choose other foods that we like,” said Yaya Abiba, one of 500 people, mostly herders, displaced in Yaloké.
The vouchers, valued at US$10, will complement WFP distributions of rice, pulses and oil. In the next six months, the food voucher programme will be rolled out in the capital Bangui, and other areas of C.A.R. where markets are open and working as usual despite insecurity.
Widespread looting and insecurity have taken a heavy toll on crops. The lean season, when food from the previous harvest begins to run out, began as early as January in some areas.
‘This food voucher programme which allows people to choose and buy foods they are familiar with, is starting at a crucial moment ahead of the lean season,” said Mustapha Darboe, WFP Representative in C.A.R. “Almost US$2.5 million will be injected into the local economy, and the vouchers will also cut down costs of transporting and storing food.”
In conflict-stricken C.A.R, WFP plans to provide life-saving assistance to more than 1.2 million people in 2015.
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