WFP launched cash assistance this month in Shahid Nasseri refugee settlement in Saveh, Markazi province.
The new combination of wheat flour rations and cash allows refugees buy the foods of their choice in settlement shops while at the same time baking their own bread at home.
The Federal Republic of Germany supported WFP’s as it transitioned from the traditional food distribution to the new cash-transfer assistance. Germany, a long-standing supporter of WFP operations in Iran, was the first country to provide support to WFP’s new three-year interim plan in Iran contributing €1 million in November 2017.
WFP organized a one-day visit for a German delegation to witness the launch of the new cash programme. The Regional Coordinator for Refugees and Migration from German Embassy in Ankara, Dr. Rudiger Lotz and Counsellor and Desk Officer for Refugees and Migrants of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Tehran Dr. Barbara May visited Saveh settlement and had the chance to meet and talk with officials and refugees. They also saw first-hand refugees’ living conditions, facilities and the effect of WFP’s
The German delegation was warmly welcomed by local authorities from provincial Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrant Affairs (BAFIA) and the settlement. At the warehouse where now only wheat flour will be stored, a family of six received their cash card from the delegation. Three refugee schoolgirls in first, second and third grade respectively were also present and received their cash cards that now replace the oil-for-education incentive they used to receive in return for regular attendance in class.
During the ceremony, the German delegation praised the Iranian government and people for their hospitality in past decades and thanked WFP for its continuous support toward refugees.
“The government and people of Germany have always shown great generosity towards refugees WFP supports in Iran,” said WFP Representative in Iran Negar Gerami. “This timely contribution has helped us immensely in this transition phase as we start to introduce cash assistance to the people we serve here in Iran.”
WFP is assisting 30,000 of the most vulnerable refugees living in 20 settlements in 13 provinces across Iran.