DJIBOUTI � The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed continued support from the European Commission to provide assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in Djibouti.

Funding from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) has been instrumental in enabling WFP to provide an innovative package of cash assistance alongside food rations to refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Yemen who live in the Ali-Addeh, Hol-Hol and Obock camps. Given the arid conditions and lack of sustainable livelihood options, WFP food assistance remains the only viable source of support for refugees in the camps.

Over the last two years, EU humanitarian funding has contributed Euros 2.1 million, including Euros 300,000 so far in 2017. This has allowed WFP to provide the cash component of assistance to all refugees, including recently-arrived asylum seekers from Ethiopia, to date reaching a total of 18,500 people per month.

Thanks to the support maintained by the European Commission, WFP has been able to meet the basic needs of refugees and also stimulate the local economy, said Jacques Higgins, WFP Country Director for Djibouti. Cash assistance allows people to decide what they eat and vary their diet by purchasing food such as vegetables and meat from local shops in and around the camps. Through these purchases, refugees and asylum seekers are participating in the economic development of the country, he added.

With a total requirement of US$ 1.7 million for 2017, cash transfers will be a priority for WFP in Djibouti. The objective is to respond better to people's needs and contribute to the local economy.

Thanks to EU humanitarian funding, WFP's cash assistance allows refugees to conduct their lives with self-respect and in harmony with the local people.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Source: World Food Programme

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