NAZARETH – A ceremony here today marked the donation of 867 metric tons of dates, valued at US$1.7 million (31 million Birr) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations World Food Programme.
The dates, destined for distribution among school children and refugees in various camps across Ethiopia, were officially handed over from WFP to the government of Ethiopia at WFP’s sub-office in Nazareth town, in the presence of officials from the Saudi Embassy and government of Ethiopia.
“Saudi Arabia has always been a valued contributor to WFP’s programmes in Ethiopia and this donation will be delivered at a particularly important time – during Ramadan – to thousands of refugees and schoolchildren,” said WFP Representative and Country Director, Abdou Dieng, during the hand-over ceremony.
The contribution of dates will enable WFP to provide a nutritious supplement to regular food rations for 370,000 refugees as well as providing more than 215,600 school children with an additional treat during the upcoming period of fasting.
“On the occasion of the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has ordered the allocation of thousands of metric tonnes of Saudi dates annually to the World Food Programme (WFP) to be distributed in Africa, of which 867 metric tonnes of dates have been allocated this year for refugees and school children in Ethiopia,” said H.E. Mr. Mohammad Ibrahim Alshugairan, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia, WFP is currently providing food assistance a total of 370,000 refugees and 670,000 school children.
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Stephanie Savariaud, WFP/Ethiopia, Mob. 0911 201976
Melese Awoke, WFP/Ethiopia, Mob. 0911 201981