World Food Programme's 'ShareTheMeal' App to Feed 600,000 Syrian Children

Nov 12, 2015 09:27 PM EST | By Armi Cruz

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World Food Programme (WFP) launched its latest free Smartphone application called ShareTheMeal last Thursday. This app aims to feed the 600,000 Syrian refugee children who fled to other nations to seek shelter due to Syria's four-year civil war.

ShareTheMeal allows iOS and Android users to donate $0.50 with just one tap of their finger anytime and anywhere they prefer. According to WFP, the total sum would be sufficient to feed a child for a day.

WFP is positive that the total generated income from the app will be enough to cover a year's worth of meals for children in Jordan refugee camps.

According to WFP's executive director Ertharin Cousin, the purpose of ShareTheMeal is for people, especially mobile users, to be able to donate a small amount of money for a good cause with convenience and less hassles. They can donate even when they are in a restaurant or plainly at home. Users can also donate as much as they want and can also check the progress of their donations.

"The simple act of sharing a meal is how people all over the world come together," Cousin said.

"This digital version of sharing a meal is a tangible way that generation zero hunger can act to end hunger," he added.

ShareTheMeal was pre-tested in Germany, Austria and Switzerland last June of this year. The programme generated a total of 1.7 million meals for the school children in Lesotho. Over 120,000 users supported the app.

The app was developed by Sebastian Stricker and Bernard Kowatsch which targets to aid the hunger for Syrians in and out of their country.

The Syrian Civil War has killed more than 250,000 people leaving destruction and 4.3 millions others to seek refuge in nearby countries.

Due to budget constraints, WFT announced last July that they will need to divide in two the food vouchers intended for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Cousin however, warned that this action might lead to young men opting to be recruited by extremists just to provide food in their families' plates.

 "What concerns me is the young men who I was meeting with ... who see no other method of feeding their family other than to return to Syria," said Cousin.

"They become prime targets for the Islamist extremist groups who are paying money for service. So if that then is how they can feed their family, that is attractive and that is something that should worry us all."

Currently, WFP only has a total of 50% funds generated for their $4.5 billion appeal to help and feed all Syrian refugees around the world.

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