Islamabad - The Government of Pakistan has announced a donation of 75,000 metric tons of wheat to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) at a time when critical funding shortages threatened the provision of emergency food assistance to almost one million displaced people in the country’s north-west.
Valued at approximately US$25 million, the contribution places Pakistan as WFP’s second largest donor in the country so far this year.
“This very timely contribution is greatly welcomed and demonstrates the Government’s ownership of the development process and commitment to helping its people,” said Jean-Luc Siblot, WFP Country Director and Representative in Pakistan. "The last thing we want to do is to cut assistance for the poorest and most vulnerable, and this wheat will help us to restore the food basket to a level that fully meets basic needs."
The wheat will be milled, fortified and then provided to families displaced by security operations or only recently able to return to their homes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Combined with much-needed contributions from other donors, it will allow WFP to distribute a full cereal ration to these groups until the end of the year. A shortage of resources had forced WFP to reduce rations from January.
This latest contribution follows sizeable in-kind donations from the federal government and provincial governments of Sindh and Balochistan last year. More than 70,000 metric tons of wheat was successfully delivered to both displaced and flood-affected communities in 2012, following a highly positive response from other donors to WFP’s appeal for complementary ‘twinning’ funds.
“We will again be looking to the international donor community to provide some US$23 million needed for WFP to mill, fortify, transport and distribute the wheat,” said Siblot. “Additional funds will also be required to purchase other commodities in the food basket, including specialised nutritious products for young children.”
WFP’s emergency response to the needs of displaced communities in the north-west is implemented under a new relief and recovery operation for Pakistan, launched on 1 January 2013. Aiming to assist about 8 million people at a total cost of US$540 million over the next three years, the operation also seeks to improve economic opportunities and promote social inclusion in FATA, boost community resilience in disaster-prone locations, and prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition among young children and women in the country’s most food-insecure districts.
WFP’s partnership with the Government of Pakistan contributes to the National Zero Hunger Programme, drawing on the successes of other countries in the fight to eradicate hunger and undernutrition.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting against hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.
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For more information please contact (email address: email@example.com):
Amjad Jamal, WFP/Islamabad.+92 51 8312270 Mob: +92 300 850 0989
Marcus Prior, WFP/Bangkok, Tel. +66 2 659 8616, Mob: +66 81 701 9208