JOHANNESBURG – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a generous donation of R3 million (US$400,000) from the Government of South Africa, which will help the agency to feed thousands of hungry families in the Horn of Africa region.
The donation will be split equally with R1.5 million supporting WFP’s emergency activities in Ethiopia and the other R1.5 million boosting WFP’s lifesaving operations in Somalia.
“WFP is extremely grateful to the South African government for this very timely and generous contribution,” said Ramiro Lopes da Silva, WFP’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa. “This donation will provide vital food rations to extremely vulnerable people in Ethiopia and Somalia, helping them to cope with the devastating impact of drought, high food prices and the global economic crisis.”
This contribution follows a R1.3 million (US$173,000) donation in May 2009 from the Government of South Africa to WFP’s operations in Ethiopia.
WFP has been scaling up its operations in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, which have suffered due to a combination of prolonged drought, recurring conflict, continued high food prices and the global financial crisis. In September, WFP launched an emergency appeal for almost US$1 billion over the next six months, to provide millions of people throughout the region with food assistance.
South Africa also donated R1.3 million to WFP’s operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo in March 2009 – bringing total contributions this year to R5.6 million (US$750,000).