SEASON 1, EPISODE 6:
Feeding the 80,000 in Za’atari Camp, Jordan
You’re helping refugees receive the food that sustains their lives.
Watch the new video and learn Farida’s ingenious way of making mealtimes more exciting for her children. You’ll also see something that you might never have expected to see in the heart of a refugee camp.
Want to see the whole story? Watch the full series now.
Did you know that in the Middle East, mealtimes are the most important parts of the day? Mealtimes are when families come together to share food, to laugh with each other and discuss what lies ahead.
Families everywhere need food to survive and stay healthy. But more than that, they need food to bring them together.
UNHCR always provides refugees families with a hot, nutritious meal when they arrive at a camp. They may not have had the time or resources to prepare or purchase food to take with them before they fled and then traveled for days or even weeks without eating properly. Refugees often arrive to UNHCR camps exhausted and weak, and children can be especially at risk of malnutrition.
Upon arrival at a camp, children are weighed and assessed for signs of malnourishment. Malnourished children are immediately placed into a feeding program, where they receive specially designed nutritional supplements to rebuild their strength and save their lives.
Your support ensures refugee children receive the calories they need to stay strong.
“I remember that at home I would open the door to my garden, smell the fresh food that was growing and go straight out and pick the food we needed for the day.
“I especially miss the smell of our fresh cucumbers growing in the field. Here, the cucumbers and vegetables are fine, and they meet our needs, but it is not the same as the fresh food we used to enjoy.
“Most of our vegetables we grew at home and we would buy fresh meat from our neighbors. We are very grateful for having the food to eat and water to drink here, but it can never be the same as home.
“The food vouchers we receive are for 10 Jordanian Dinars (JDs) per person every two weeks and there are nine of us so that is 180JDs a month. With this amount, it is a struggle to buy enough food for us all and sometimes we do not have three meals a day. But the vouchers are good because we can choose what food we have rather than just having things given to us.
“So the food is enough to survive but I dream of returning home and enjoying the meals we used to enjoy. I would love to make the children mansaf like we had at home, a lamb dish with yogurt and rice. But my own favorite was stuffed vine leaves. It would be wonderful if I could again cook my children vine leaves, picked from our own garden.”
Around 80,000 refugees in Za’atari have access to food through the voucher system
35,274 pounds of freshly baked bread is distributed every morning to refugees in Za’atari by UNHCR’s partner, WFP
WFP reaches 16,730 students in Za’atari through the school feeding program
Adults in Za’atari eat approximately 2,100 calories per day
Updated as of August 2017