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WFP vouchers scheme empowers refugee mothers

09 October 2013, 20:02

Nairobi - The World Food Programme (WFP) said its recently-introduced Fresh Food Vouchers initiative would benefit at least 10 000 mothers in the Dadaab refugee camp.

The United Nations humanitarian entity launched the programme for pregnant and nursing mothers, who receive vouchers to buy fresh food such as meat, fruit and vegetables, which are not part of the usual WFP food basket.

Officials said the project was poised to boost trade at the refugee camp as the thousands of mothers would redeem their vouchers for food every month. Traders from both the host and refugee communities have been selected to take part in the project and the beneficiaries are free to go to the traders they choose.

"Although the key objective of the project is to test an alternative means of delivering food assistance, the Fresh Food Vouchers will also improve the women's dietary diversity by improving access to fresh, nutritious foods and also giving them the freedom to choose from the market ," said Josephine Muli, the WFP programme officer in charge of the project.

UK Aid and European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) fund the project.

The vouchers are distributed at Dadaab's health centres when women come in for regular checkups during and after pregnancy.

The Dadaab refugee camp is said to be the largest in the world, with an estimated population of 500 000 people. It is situated about 100 kilometres from the Kenya-Somalia border

- CAJ News


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