WFP today welcomed a 105 million euro donation by the European Commission for its global operations in 2006.
“The Commission’s very generous commitment gives a vitally important boost to our capacity to respond to food crises in the poorest countries, and to our campaign to meet the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of hungry people in the world,” said WFP’s Executive Director, James Morris.
The Commission’s very generous commitment gives a vitally important boost to our capacity to respond to food crises.
James Morris, WFP Executive Director
The EC funding will allow WFP to deliver some 800,000 metric tons of food commodities to feed millions of chronically hungry people, and to promote sustainable food security in beneficiary countries.
“As this contribution is cash, it enables us to respond quickly and flexibly to particular needs,” said Pasqualina DiSirio, Deputy Director of WFP’s Brussels Office. “It also facilitates the procurement of food in or near recipient countries, thereby supporting local economies.”
Against the EC’s anticipated donation for 2006, WFP has been able to advance its own funds from a special internal account to cover critical food aid needs in a number of countries.
“Thanks to this pre-financing mechanism, pipeline breaks have been avoided or eased in places such as Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Southern Africa,” said DiSirio. “That can mean the difference between life and death for the very hungry.”
More than half of the EC funding will be directed to Sudan and Zimbabwe. The remainder is to be devoted to WFP operations in Ethiopia, Niger, Tanzania, Uganda, DR Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Palestine.
Morris paid tribute to European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis Michel’s “strong personal commitment to resolving tough humanitarian issues and keen interest in the welfare of hungry people across Africa.”
In addition to the EC’s 105 million euro donation for 2006, the EC’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (DG ECHO) makes substantial additional contributions to WFP operations around the world, primarily to alleviate the effects of emergency food crises.
So far this year, the Commission has pledged a total of 138.5 million euro.