SYDNEY – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a new AUS$25 million contribution to fighting hunger worldwide, announced during the first official visit to Australia by the agency’s Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin.
“I am pleased we are able to announce an extra AUS$10 million for the escalating food crisis in the Sahel and AUS$5 million for WFP operations in South Sudan. The situation in the Sahel is an extremely serious food security emergency, with an estimated 18 million people affected by drought and severe impending food shortages,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr.
“Australia’s generous and flexible support allows WFP to meet the needs of the most hungry and vulnerable people in the most efficient way possible, making a real difference in the lives of many around the world,” said Cousin.
“I saw this for myself this month in Niger, where WFP is helping save lives and provide for those most in need – especially women and children - while at the same time supporting communities to become more resilient in the face of extreme weather conditions and other shocks.”
During her visit, Ms Cousin met the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, the Director of AusAid, Peter Baxter, and spoke to senators and members of parliament about WFP’s operations and its transition from a food aid to a food assistance agency.
The new funding – which will address pressing needs in the Sahel, South Sudan and Pakistan (AUS$10 million) - builds on close to AUS$128 million in Australian support in 2011 for WFP operations and $12 million previously provided for the Sahel and South Sudan.
Australia was the first country to agree to an unrestricted flexible multi-year partnership and funding arrangement with WFP.
For more information please contact (email address: email@example.com):
Monica Salvitti, WFP/Australia, Mob. +64 450 044 713