The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) plans an electronic voucher program in Lebanon that will enable Syrian refugees to make MasterCard payments.
By the end of the year, about 800,000 refugees will receive electronic payment cards at Lebanese stores. A similar program in Jordan will serve about 300,000 refugees, and will continue into 2014.
"The new e-cards will allow Syrian refugees to choose the foods they want, when they want," says Elisabeth Rasmusson, WFP's executive director for partnership and governance services, in an Oct. 11 press release.
The e-card collaboration is part of a larger partnership between WFP and MasterCard that launched in Sept. 2012. MasterCard also runs a joint program with WFP called Digital Food that encourages electronic transactions.
"At MasterCard we believe that technology has the power to unlock innovation in food aid delivery, enabling a greater impact and helping achieve the vision that a world beyond cash builds a world beyond hunger," says Ann Cairns, MasterCard's president of international markets, in a release.