The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Egypt received a first-of-its-kind contribution from the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency at a total USD1.4 million to support people who fled the violence of the war in Sudan.
The Swiss contribution will enable WFP to sustain for one year its ongoing cash assistance for nearly 6,000 Sudanese refugees now residing in Aswan, Cairo, and Alexandria.
“Through this timely and opportune assistance, we can reach people within a matter of minutes, providing them with cash to meet their essential needs through a network of over 140,000 retailers,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt Praveen Agrawal. “Switzerland’s assistance arrives at a critical time and will allow us to continue to provide this vital assistance to Sudanese across the country.”
Since the onset of the crisis in April 2023 and as of the end of October 2023, WFP has supported over 277,000 vulnerable people who fled Sudan and sought shelter in Egypt. Assistance includes ready-to-eat healthy food packages provided immediately upon arrival at the border crossings of Argeen and Qustol in Aswan as well as cash assistance in Aswan, Cairo, and Alexandria.
“I thank the WFP team for their continued dedication and commitment to improving the lives of recently arrived Sudanese individuals and families. Switzerland remains committed to engaging with its partners to improve the resilience and well-being of people,” said Switzerland’s Ambassador to Egypt, Yvonne Baumann.
People receive cash assistance via electronic cards issued through WFP’s emergency cash assistance platform. The assistance platform registers and provides recipients with their cash cards in an average of just three minutes. The cards can then be redeemed at partner retail stores nationwide. WFP has also made its platform available to sister UN agencies and partners to facilitate assistance to greater numbers of vulnerable Sudanese people.
According to UNHCR, the UN agency coordinating the Regional Response Plan for the Sudan Emergency, around 337,000 people (330,000 Sudanese, and 7,000 people of other nationalities) have crossed the Sudan-Egypt border as of mid-October. Those fleeing crisis continue to struggle to meet their basic needs and access to income generating opportunities against the backdrop of inflation and nationwide economic instability.
The UN WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.