US Donation Prevents Imminent WFP Lifeline Break to Millions of Pakistan Flood Victims

Published on 08 November 2010

ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$90 million donation from the United States which - combined with other recent donations - staves off ration cuts to an already debilitated population. It will be used to provide vital food assistance to more than 7 million Pakistanis affected by the recent devastating floods.

"With these funds behind us, we can ensure an uninterrupted flow of food assistance to the hungriest and the most vulnerable in Pakistan, especially young children," said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. "This donation comes at a critical time as WFP is transitioning from emergency food distributions, towards helping communities rebuild the lives they lost before the floods.”

The U.S. donation is divided equally between US$45 million that will be provided as cash, and an in-kind food donation of US$45 million consisting of wheat flour, vegetable oil and dried peas.  The cash segment of the donation will be used to purchase food locally inside Pakistan, supporting farmers and the Pakistani economy.

"This donation, along with others, will buy us more time," Sheeran added. "We had genuine concerns that we would have to cut rations for hungry people if we could not mobilise more funds.  With this wave of support, we now have some breathing space at least until the New Year."

WFP is providing life-saving rations to some 1.7 million people still displaced by floodwaters in cut-off areas in Sindh and Balochistan. More than 5 million people who have already returned home are receiving a return ration, together with seeds from the Government and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), so they can clear and sow the land for the harvest in April.  WFP is also providing food in return for work rebuilding infrastructure that was damaged by the floods

As well as prioritising the health and nutritional needs of young children by supplying highly nutritious ready-to-eat supplementary foods, WFP has been pre-positioning food supplies in northern areas ahead of the cold winter months when snow can cut off access to communities.

The top ten donors to WFP’s Pakistan flood operations to date are: United States (US$227m),  Australia (US$17.2m), Germany (US$13.2m), UN CERF (US$12.4m), United Kingdom (US$12m), Canada (US$10.8m), Netherlands (US$6.9m), Japan (US6m ), Private Donors (US$5.3m), India (US$5m).

For Further Information:

Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1 646 8241112
Jackie Dent, WFP/Islamabad, Mob: +92 346 8563418
Amjad Jamal, WFP/Islamabad, Mob: +92 300 850 0989
Marcus Prior, WFP/Bangkok, Mob: + 66 (0)81 701 9208