MAPUTO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of €9.8 million (US$10.8 million) from the European Union to support its humanitarian operations in Mozambique.
The contribution comes as the country is responding to its worst period of drought in decades, exacerbated by the recent El Niño weather event. The funds enable WFP to assist more than 270,000 smallholder farmers whose crops were devastated by high temperatures and lack of rain during the 2015/2016 agricultural season.
Some 1.4 million people are now food insecure and in need of assistance to support them during the peak of the January-March lean season. This number could rise to 2.3 million over coming months, according to the latest assessments from the government-led Mozambique Vulnerability Assessment Committee.
“We express our gratitude for the support received from the European Union,” said Country Representative and Director Karin Manente. “This contribution will go a long way towards enabling WFP to meet the increased needs of the most vulnerable and help them become productive again.”
Through its combined humanitarian programmes, WFP assisted more than 600,000 people in drought-hit parts of Mozambique in December. WFP and its partners are now scaling up to reach even more people through a range of activities aimed at addressing communities’ immediate needs whilst also engaging them in schemes such as the construction or repair of irrigation systems so they are better equipped to withstand extreme weather shocks.
At the start of each year, Mozambique is often hit by floods and cyclones which destroy infrastructure and people’s livelihoods. However, at other times of the year, the country is prone to drought, which can cause widespread loss of crops and livestock, leading to hunger among more vulnerable communities.
In 2016, the European Union was one of the top donors to WFP worldwide and contributed more than €32 million (US$35 million) to WFP operations in southern Africa.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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