According to the organisation, the scheme will allow hundreds of thousands of refugees obtain food
, while the local economy will also receive a boost.
It is partnering with MasterCard to create electronic cards, which will be allocated to some 800,000 refugees for use in participating shops in Lebanon.
The WFP will be introducing a similar e-card programme for Syrian refugees in Jordan, again with MasterCard’s support, which will see an initial 300,000 refugees receive help by the end of 2013.
Ann Cairns, president of international markets at MasterCard, said: “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.”
The initiative has been piloted in September 2013 for around 2,000 Syrian households in the southern Lebanese town of Nabatiyeh and the e-card programme will replace WFP’s paper vouchers before gradually expanding to other parts of the country in the coming weeks.