UNICEF and WFP support vulnerable families in Homs, Syria through joint e-voucher programme

3,000 families of the children registered in the UNICEF-supported Curriculum B programme are able to purchase food and hygiene items on monthly basis.

UNICEF
woman shopping in market
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Abdulaziz-Aldroubi
28 July 2020

The recent global spread of COVID-19 and resulting restrictions as well as inflation and loss of purchasing power have compounded the needs of already-vulnerable families across Syria. Many lost their jobs while being faced with increasing requirements for protection against coronavirus.

To help ease the financial burden on families, UNICEF joined an existing programme by the World Food Programme (WFP) since late 2019, supporting vulnerable families in Syria through the provision of electronic vouchers, redeemable at pre-selected shops to purchase food items. The new contribution by UNICEF now allows families to also purchase cleaning and personal hygiene items to help protect themselves against the virus without adding to their financial liabilities.

woman and children shopping in market
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Abdulaziz-Aldroubi
Siblings Mohammad, 10, and Sidra, 4, help their mother choose and purchase food and hygiene items with the e-voucher, supported by WFP and UNICEF. The children’s family was displaced from Palmyra four years ago. “My husband is a day labourer and he hasn’t been able to work consistently since the spread of COVID-19 and resulting restrictions,” says Abir, their mother. “The e-voucher has enabled us to purchase food and cleaning products to keep our children safe during this crisis” she adds.
woman standing at casher
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Abdulaziz-Aldroubi
Farha chooses food and cleaning items to be purchased under the e-voucher programme, supported by WFP and UNICEF, to help vulnerable families overcome economic hardships resulting from inflation and COVID-19 restrictions. After five years of living in Rukban settlement in the middle of the desert close to the Jordanian borders, Farha and her family settled in Homs city. “Prices are skyrocketing, and we have very limited income,” she says.
women and children shopping in market
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Abdulaziz-Aldroubi
Roya, 12, helps her mother choose and purchase food and hygiene items with the e-voucher, supported by WFP and UNICEF to help vulnerable families navigate economic hardships resulting from inflation and COVID-19 restrictions. “We have been on the move for eight years now and have used up all our savings,” says Roya’s mother whose husband works as a driver. “The vouchers have allowed us to buy essential items to put food on the table and protect ourselves against coronavirus” she adds.
Two women at casher
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Abdulaziz-Aldroubi
The recent global spread of COVID-19 and resulting restrictions as well as inflation and loss of purchasing power have compounded the needs of already-vulnerable families across Syria. Many lost their jobs while being faced with increasing requirements for protection against coronavirus. To help ease the financial burden on families, UNICEF joined an existing programme- since late 2019- by the World Food Programme (WFP), supporting vulnerable families in Syria through the provision of electronic vouchers like ATM cards, redeemable at pre-selected shops to purchase food items. The new contribution by UNICEF now allows families to also purchase cleaning and personal hygiene items to help protect themselves against the virus without adding to their financial liabilities.
woman and child shopping
UNICEF/Syria/2020/Abdulaziz-Aldroubi
Talal, 12, helps his grandmother, Jameela, choose and purchase food and hygiene items with the e-voucher, supported by WFP and UNICEF to ease the financial burden on families, resulting from inflation and COVID-19 restrictions. “Our situation was already difficult before COVID-19 restrictions caused us to lose most of our income while prices soared and our little savings were worth less and less,” says Jameela.

In the governorate of Homs, 3,000 families were able to purchase food and hygiene items on monthly basis. These families are the families of the children who are registered in the UNICEF-supported Curriculum B programme.   

The e-vouchers give families flexibility in choosing the items they need while maintaining their dignity and freedom of choice. They also help support the local economy by creating demand for food and non-food items.