Children in Azraq and Za'atari refugee camps in Jordan are benefitting from a meal in schools project, creating a nurturing, healthy and active school environment.
This project provides each child with a nutritious lunch at school. A guaranteed meal takes the pressure off families struggling to feed their children, and means parents are more likely to send their children to school and keep them there longer.
This project is also strengthening the livelihoods for refugees while stimulating local economic growth by engaging with local supply chains and providing employment for 480 Syrian refugees. Earning a local income is particularly vital for vulnerable women like widows trying to support their families and teenage girls at risk of early forced marriage.
When providing emergency assistance, it is sometimes more appropriate to give people ‘cash transfers’ rather than food handouts. Cash transfers come in the form of vouchers, electronic smart cards with pre-loaded money, or credit on mobile phones. They can be used at local markets, supermarkets and at designated shops and providers.
People can choose to spend a portion of their money on things like healthcare or education, or they may choose to diversify their diet and buy different types of food. It’s about returning a small piece of control and agency to those who have lost normality and choice in their lives.
Using cash transfers also prevents food wastage and spoilage, reduces transportation and storage costs, and helps stimulate the local economy by supporting small business owners in areas that are affected by influxes of refugees and internally displaced people.