As crises across Africa continue to dominate the humanitarian agenda, WFP has warmly welcomed a contribution from Turkey of US$ 2 million, for its operations in eight countries where millions face daily food shortages due to drought, floods, disease or conflict.
We are tremendously grateful to the Government of Turkey for their generous cash contribution which comes at a time when so many people are living on the edge
WFP Deputy Executive Director, John Powell
From Turkey’s US$ 2 million donation, US$400,000 will go to Chad, where WFP is currently providing support to over 220,000 refugees from Darfur in neighbouring Sudan as well as some 57,000 Chadians who have been displaced by conflict in the border area.
Part of the donation also goes towards WFP’s massive operation in Sudan which aims to feed some 5.5 million people.
First drought then floods
Pastoralists living in northeastern Kenya, like their counterparts in Tanzania, have suffered first from drought – when they watched their herds of cattle die – and then from floods, which washed away whole livelihoods.
With Turkey’s generosity, WFP can respond more quickly to reach the needy.
WFP operations in Benin, Uganda, the Central African Republic and Rwanda are each receiving US$ 200,000 towards providing women and young children with supplementary rations to fight the debilitating effects of malnutrition.
Flexibility in emergencies
The donation will also bolster WFP projects which encourage children to attend school by providing nutritious meals and take home rations.
“We are tremendously grateful to the Government of Turkey for their generous cash contribution which comes at a time when so many people are living on the edge. It gives WFP the flexibility it needs to respond to both emergencies and more protracted crises across the African continent,” said WFP Deputy Executive Director, John Powell, responsible for fundraising and communications.
Turkey’s donations to WFP have increased significantly over the past two years. In 2006, its contributions amounted to US$ 1.2 million, including a total of US$ 1 million to respond to the drought in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Djibouti.
In 2005, Turkey provided WFP with over US$3 million including a US$1.8 million contribution to respond to the food security crisis in the Sahel.
There was also a US$ 700,000 donation to WFP following the earthquake in Pakistan.
Turkey remains one of WFP’s most important countries for procurement of food commodities for its global operations. Last year, the agency’s purchases were valued at over US$28 million and included wheat, pulses, high energy biscuits, bulgur wheat, vegetable oil, and iodised salt.
“The need for humanitarian aid in Africa is greater than ever. WFP projects that it will need at least US$ 2 billion to assist 42.6 million people in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007,” said Powell, speaking after a meeting at WFP’s Rome headquarters with Turkish government officials.
“Today’s donation signals our continuing and growing partnership with Turkey.”