Turkey plans to distribute electronic food coupons

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The Director of the Turkish Red Crescent Foundation announced plans to expand the food coupons program distributed in the camps to Syrian refugees to include Syrians who do not reside in the camps.

Some 250,000 Syrian citizens are benefiting from electronic coupons in camps near the Turkish-Syrian border. The director of the Turkish Red Crescent Lotfi Akkar said that there is cooperation with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to provide electronic coupons to about 1.7 million Syrian and Iraqi citizens living outside the camps.

“These are the guests of Turkey and we are planning to offer them coupons as well. A project is under way to implement that. ”

Earlier, the World Food Program (WFP) reduced the number of Syrian recipients of coupons due to a lack of funding from UN member states in February, four years after the program began. In return, WFP officials handed over nine camps to the Turkish Government and asked for a total of $ 9 million from international donors to continue providing support to camp residents.

The Director of the Turkish Red Crescent pointed out that the food card provided by the Red Crescent operates as a credit card, and that the balances are transferred periodically to enable recipients to buy food at any place of supply. “These cards are particularly important in helping beneficiaries to maintain their dignity. They can shop from anywhere (instead of waiting in line to receive food aid). ”

He added that the Red Crescent is also planning to distribute coupons after disasters and reduce dependence on food distribution. He said: “For example, cards can be used in any city exposed to an earthquake. People can then buy food from shops in unaffected places in the city. In this way, the shops are assisted to overcome their losses after disasters. ”

Turkey is the main host of Syrians displaced by the four-year war. It has provided Syrian citizens with tents and cities from “houses of the enclaves”, whose international status has been praised by the international community. The Turkish Government continues its efforts to care for other refugees who have not been able to stay in overcrowded, resource-constrained camps with little support from other States.

While a relatively better number of refugees began to start a new life in the cities by creating businesses and buying or renting apartments, given that a large number of Syrians who left their country as a result of the conflict were limited in income. Living in difficult conditions in abandoned buildings and gardens and working long hours with little pay without any kind of social security.

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