2015 and 2016 - In Jordan, 200 families have received monthly food packages. These food packages contained rice, sugar, corn oil, fava beans, tomato paste, lentils, powdered milk and hygiene kits. In Amman and Irbid, Jordan both Syrian and Iraqi refugees will benefit from this response.
ERDO has been working with refugees impacted by ISIS for the past two years, already providing over $250,000 in assistance to refugee aid. Included in the beneficiaries are Syrian refugees living in southern Lebanon, Beirut and Turkey, and internally displaced refugees in Northern Iraq and Syria.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million Syrians have fled to their immediate neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Over 7 million are internally displaced within Syria.
In 2013, ERDO responded to the urgent need for food and other basic necessities of Syrian refugees living in southern Lebanon and Beirut, through our partner the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). ERDO committed $50,000.00 to this project that provided special supplementary food to babies between six months and a year old, and vouchers to buy basic cooking utensils–something many need since they left their homes so quickly and they could not bring anything with them.
Rather than distributing food directly to people in need, the project gave food vouchers to eligible families that were then be used to buy food in the local market. To ensure effective and efficient use of the vouchers, vendors close to where the refugees have settled were selected to participate in the project. This enablesd people to use their vouchers to shop for food at their convenience.
To help guide food choices, a suggested list of food items was available at all shops where vouchers can be redeemed. The list includes things like rice, chickpeas, lentils, canned tuna, tomato paste, and milk powder.
According to Jim Cornelius, Executive Director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, two positive by-products of the voucher system are that it encourages a diverse diet, which is important for health and nutrition, and there is a positive effect on the local market since people are purchasing food from local shops.
Supporting Nutrition for Young Children
Malnutrition is high among babies and young children in the refugee community in southern Lebanon. This project provided a special porridge made of wheat cereal mixed with vegetable and fruit to babies between six months and a year to prevent further malnutrition.
“Proper nutrition is crucial for the healthy development of children,” Cornelius says.“The effects of poor nutrition during early life are largely irreversible.”
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ERDO is the humanitarian agency of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
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