It is with great pleasure that I announce today a life-saving partnership, signed between the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP - www.wfp.org) and Luxembourg that will provide humanitarian food assistance for millions of people around the world and support emergency humanitarian telecommunications systems that will be deployed when sudden crises strike.
This partnership is launched at a critical time in the world — economic and weather shocks continue to challenge the food security of nearly 1 billion people on earth.
Luxembourg's support for humanitarian assistance and international cooperation is second-to-none. It is WFP's largest per-capita donor, contributing more than 15 euros per every one of its citizens. Luxembourg's commitment to sign multi-year partnership agreements with WFP allow for forward planning and flexibility that ensures the most effective deployment of hunger tools.
Today, with the signing of a Strategic Partnership Agreement that will run from 2012 to 2015, this commitment has been further proven. Under the partnership Luxembourg will provide €30.8 million to support emergency response and programmes such as school meals, nutrition activities in West Africa, nutritional support to HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis activities and emergency preparedness.
In addition, Luxembourg has provided an invaluable in-kind donation: developing an innovative platform to support telecommunications in emergencies. The new project, called “emergency.lu” will help WFP, as head of the humanitarian community’s Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, set up life-saving voice and data communications to enable humanitarian workers to save lives during quick-onset disasters such as earthquakes and floods as well as other operations around the world.
Luxembourg developed “emergency.lu” together with WFP and will provide expert staff and the equipment – such as portable satellite terminals, servers and software – and will transport these systems anywhere in the world when an emergency strikes. It’s an initiative that will literally save lives.