2 Apr 2015
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With support from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the World Food Programme (WFP) has begun its first food voucher programme in the Central African Republic (CAR) to assist more than 100,000 people affected by the conflict.

CAR has endured more than two years civil war and sectarian violence. Some 2.7 million people – over half of CAR’s population – are dependent on humanitarian assistance.

“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 CAR.

Aid agencies received more than US$25 million from CERF in 2014. WFP received $5.7 million of that amount for the provision of emergency food assistance to the most vulnerable people in CAR.

WFP began distributing the first vouchers, which are valued at $10, in the western village of Yaloké. They will complement WFP's existing distributions of rice, pulses and oil. “Almost $2.5 million will be injected into the local economy, and the vouchers will also cut down costs of transporting and storing food,” said Darboe.

“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 displaced in Yaloké.

Over the next six months, the food voucher programme will be rolled out in the capital, Bangui, and other areas of CAR where markets are open and working.

More information on CERF’s rapid response grant for CAR can be found here.