WFP welcomes arrival of final trainload of Russian food donation

Published on 03 December 2007

WFP has welcomed the final shipment of a US$2 million package of food aid donated by Russia to support the agency’s operations in Tajikistan.

WFP has welcomed the final shipment of a US$2 million package of food aid donated by Russia to support the agency’s operations in Tajikistan.

We welcome this support from the Russian Federation, which is emerging as the main donor for WFP’s operation in Tajikistan

Zlatan Milisic, WFP’s Country Director in Tajikistan

The shipment arrived by rail in the Tajik capital today, marking the culmination of a project that was launched earlier this year when the Government of Russia provided WFP with a US$2 million cash donation to help fund programmes in the country.

WFP used the donation to mobilise 3,100 metric tons of fortified wheat flour and 620 tons of yellow split peas with the support of Russia’s Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (EMERCOM) and its State Agency. Train shipments began in February.

Contributions

“We welcome this support from the Russian Federation, which is emerging as the main donor for WFP’s operation in Tajikistan. This contribution will cover the food requirements of the neediest in Tajikistan for two months,” said Zlatan Milisic, WFP’s Country Director in Tajikistan.

Since 2003, the Russian Federation has contributed a total of US$8 million to support WFP’s operations in Tajikistan. For WFP’s overall programme, Russia has donated a total of US$33 million since 2004.

The most recent Russian contribution is being used to assist tens of thousands of extremely poor people in rural areas through on-going relief and recovery activities, including emergency help for victims of recurrent natural disasters (snowstorm, floods, mudslides, etc.).

TB patients

It will also support a school feeding programme and provide rations to tuberculosis patients undergoing medical treatment.

Despite commercial imports and international food aid, the ability of the poorest ten percent of the population, or 350,000 people, to afford their basic food needs remains a major challenge.

WFP surveys show that up to an additional 20 percent of the rural population, approximately 700,000 people, are very vulnerable to food insecurity, too.

Chronic malnutrition

Acute malnutrition among children in Tajikistan is seven percent and chronic malnutrition is 21 percent.

“There continues to be a large number of very poor people in Tajikistan who are not benefiting from the recent economic growth in the country,” added Milisic.

“This Russian contribution will enable WFP to continue providing food assistance to the most impoverished people living in food-insecure districts,” he said.