WFP staged a lively and colourful “welcome ceremony” for the arrival of a large Russian donation of fortified wheat flour in the capital of Dushanbe. Russian diplomats later visited a school in rural Tajikistan where Russia supports a WFP school meals programme.
The Russian ambassador, Yuri Popov, and top officials from the Government of Tajikistan, were greeted in the traditional ceremony with bread, made partly from Russian flour and Tajikistan's famous honey.
With Russian television journalists recording the event, WFP warehouse staff unlocked the door of the railway wagon that had arrived the day before and began unloading the sacks of flour, which were part of the first arrival of flour under a new Russian donation of U.S.$5.5 million.
After the ambassador symbolically signed the logbook for the receipt of the flour, WFP and the Russian delegation travelled to the town of Yavan in Khatlon region to see primary school children having their hot meal under the school feeding programme, for which Russia is the leading donor.
The Russian Federation contributed 10,000 metric tonnes of flour (U.S.$5.5 million) to WFP Tajikistan.