TIRANA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun providing cash assistance to close to 9,500 people affected by the floods in the country’s south earlier this year.
WFP responded to the request of the Government of Albania to provide assistance for the most vulnerable families in badly hit communities, through cash transfers to help them to rebuild their lives. The February floods were Albania’s second worst floods on record; only a disaster in 1971 was worse.
The Albanian Red Cross covered immediate food requirements in the aftermath of the floods, but there is still a pressing need for food assistance. WFP is providing a cash injection to the most vulnerable families in flood-affected communities.
“The torrential rains forced people out of their homes and shattered the lives of many. WFP is striving to help them regain control and get back to normal life, through providing them with cash assistance,” said Carl Paulsson WFP Senior Regional Programme Adviser for North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. “WFP is using cutting-edge technology to respond to this emergency and adapt to the situation on the ground even in a country where we do not have permanent presence.”
WFP is using in Albania an innovative information system for managing assistance programmes, known as SCOPE. The system allows WFP to monitor and control all its distributions of food, cash and vouchers electronically and in near real time. SCOPE also allows WFP to register beneficiaries and store information on the amount of food or money they are entitled to.
Households in the five most-affected regions in Albania; Fier, Berat, Vlorë, Elbasan, Gjirokastër, will receive a three-month cash grant through personal cheques. Each person is entitled to US$35 per month (4,340 Albanian Lek) totalling US$105 per person (13,020 Albanian Lek). WFP plans to distribute three months’ entitlement in one distribution through the branches of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania.
Beneficiaries were selected by local village committees established with participation of village elders, women and the poorest members of the community.
The Civil Emergency Department of the Ministry of Internal affairs of Albania is WFP’s counterpart for this operation. Also cooperating with WFP is the Albanian Red Cross, which worked with the local committees to collect information on vulnerable households.
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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 75 countries.
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