UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) are working together in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh to improve the food and hygiene practices of refugees. The agencies are utilising WFP’s SCOPE digital assistance system to distribute soap and food supplies to 50,000 Rohingya refugees and improving hygiene to prevent the spread of disease.
SCOPE is WFP’s online database which enabled the agency to better distribute food and assistance. Each household using the SCOPE database is issued a card that contains household information and can be used to redeem food at outlets throughout refugee camps.
The pilot was launched on 1 August 2018 in the Balukhali Refugee Camp. Refugees participating in the pilot are allocated monthly credit on their cards which they can spend on food and now soap. The card provides refugees with a greater amount of choice in the food and hygiene supplies they use and are no longer required to queue at distribution points.
UNICEF is providing 13 bars of soap for targeted households each month, eight of these are for hand washing and five for laundry.
Peter Guest, WFP Emergency Coordinator, commented:
“WFP aims to extend the electronic voucher programme to gradually include the entire refugee population by March 2019, allowing refugees more food choices. I am pleased that our partnership with UNICEF now helps ensure that hygiene items are also available at the retail outlets we work with”
UNICEF also plans to align with WFP’s plans to scale up their coverage across the camps and expand the range of hygiene supplies available to refugees.
Jean Metenier, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Cox’s Bazar added:
“UNICEF is proud to join WFP’s electronic distribution system. This allows us to provide essential hygiene products for up to 50,000 individuals each month, and greatly increases our efficiency in monitoring distributions. This will have a significant impact on preventing disease outbreaks, particularly among children”
“It is important that we not only promote good hygiene practices, but also that we supply products to support these practices on a regular basis. WFP’s SCOPE distribution system helps us to reach this goal”
If you’d like to stay informed on the latest updates in aid and development, please sign up for the AIDF newsletter.
Image credit: WFP