ROME – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today thanked the Swedish government for pledging record levels of support in 2011 for programmes that provide food assistance to the most vulnerable people around the world. Sweden’s contribution to WFP -- which is fully flexible and can be used to provide food assistance wherever it is needed most -- is expected to reach SEK 556 million in 2011, a 15 per cent increase on the 2010 contribution.
“At a time when concerns are growing about the impact that volatility on global food markets is having on the lives of the hungry, this latest Swedish pledge means that the vulnerable will not be forgotten,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. “Earthquakes, floods and droughts this year have threatened the livelihoods of people living in Haiti, Pakistan and Niger. Swedish support for WFP means that we can respond quickly and help communities in distress to recover and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of natural disasters.”
Sweden’s support for WFP has been used for high-profile, humanitarian life-saving operations and to help the roll-out of the innovative tools that WFP is deploying to help small-scale farmers and connect them to markets. Hungry people benefited from the Swedish contribution to WFP in the recent devastating floods in Pakistan – where WFP is currently feeding an average of 6 million people each month - in the emergency relief operation in Haiti after the earthquake earlier this year, and in the emergency response to the recent drought in Niger. In all these cases, swift action by WFP, and the early delivery of food assistance saved lives.
“Sweden has shown outstanding support as a donor and the fact that it allows WFP to use its contributions where hunger is most acute, helps us to tailor our response in the most efficient and effective way.” Sheeran added.