Digital food voucher pilot obtains UN, OPEC grant

Digital food voucher pilot obtains UN, OPEC grant

THE United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) have agreed to extend a grant of $500,000 to support a digital food voucher program in the Philippines.

The grant will support the government’s digital food stamp pilot, known as “Walang Gutom 2027.”

“An innovative solution to combat hunger in the poorest households in the Philippines, program participants are given Electronic Benefit Transfer cards which allow them to have a regular shopping experience, without having to wait long hours in line to receive food vouchers,” WFP Philippines Country Director and Representative Dipayan Bhattacharyya said in a statement.

“WFP is fully committed to supporting the Philippine government’s priority programmes on food security and nutrition,” he added.

Under the program, targeted beneficiaries will be given electronic cards with P3,000 worth of food credits.

“These cards may only be used to buy food from accredited retailers. This modality allows easier access to affordable, healthy and locally available diverse food sources,” it added.

The pilot targets the bottom one million households that do not make more than P8,000 a month. It will also prioritize households with pregnant and breastfeeding women an children under five years old.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development earlier said the pilot will initially cover  3,000 families. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson