WFP APPEALS FOR US$256 MILLION TO FEED 2 MILLION HIT BY ASIAN TSUNAMI
JAKARTA-The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced a US$256 million appeal to provide food assistance over six months for two million people battered and traumatized by an earthquake and tsunami that washed out coastal villages and towns from Asia to Africa.
WFP's appeal was launched by WFP Executive Director James Morris in conjunction with an overall appeal on behalf of UN agenciesby UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a total of US$977 millionat an ASEAN leaders' meeting with major donors in Jakarta to spur recovery efforts.
Some 169,000 metric tons of food - costing US$185 million - will be needed to provide crucial assistance for two million people.In view of the huge difficulties reaching remote areas where infrastructure was destroyed, WFP will use US$71 million to boost logistics, transport and communications across the region for the entire humanitarian community - just as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"This is more than just a disaster for those countries directly concerned, it is a truly global disaster," said Morrisin the Indonesian capital."There are a large number of victims from both rich and poor countries. Billions of people around the world have watched thishuman tragedy engulf 10 countries in Asia and Africa.Thankfully,this has drawn the swiftest, most generous donor response in history."
As the full horror of the catastrophe unfolded, WFP immediately provided foodfrom stocks already in place in Indonesia and Sri Lanka and brought in new supplies by air, land and sea. WFP food has reached more than 100,000 people in Indonesia's Aceh and North Sumatra provinces.
When the tsunami struck, WFP offered assistance to all affected countries. While the needs are greatest in Indonesia, the Maldives and Sri Lanka, WFP is also providing assistance to other countries that suffered loss of life and damage - including Myanmar. In Somalia, nearly 10,000 people have received food since the waves hit the northeast of the country.
In tandem with national governments, fellow UN agencies and partner non-governmental organisations, WFP is determined to ensure that everyone in need of assistance get all they require:food, clean water, medicine, shelter and basic hygiene items.
WFP's emergency operation aims to provide food assistance to 1 million tsunami survivors in the worst-hit country,Indonesia; 750,000 in Sri Lanka; 50,000 in the Maldives; and an extra 200,000 people elsewhere who may need assistance.
"WFP food will help with the immediate needs of those who have lost family members, houses and livelihoods. But as they gradually get back on their feet, this six-month operation will shift its focus from ending their immediate hunger to sustaining families while they revive their farmland, repair their fishing boats and communities. We can give them the chance to provide for their future once again, " said Morris.
As well as food, the WFP appeal includes some US$24 million to provide essential logistics, transport and storage, US$42 million for air support for humanitarian operations and US$3.9 million to build and run a joint UN logistics centre to serve cooperating agencies.
WFP is focused on urgently delivering life-saving food to people in need while simultaneously putting in place the mammoth logistics support system to run the sustained, large-scale operation to rebuild normal lives in allareas hitby the earthquake and tsunami on 26 December.
Private and corporate donors have swiftly stepped forward, especially in Indonesia, where one of WFP's leading corporate partners, TPG/TNT, the global mail, express and logistics company, has provided extraordinary support. WFP has received strong assistance from the Boston Consulting Group, as well as logistics support from Unilever. Another organisation linked with WFP, the International Rugby Board, has announced asignificantcontribution.
WFP's Executive Director paid tribute to the unprecedented response to the misery of millions - both from governments and the private sector:"The world cannot let these people down. And with the seoutstanding contributions from donors, we can save many people's lives and help set them on a firmer foundation."
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: in 2003 we gave food aid to a record 104 million people in 81 countries, including 56 million hungrychildren.
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