US government provides US$104 million to hungry poor in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Published on 27 July 2007

WFP has welcomed contributions of $104 million from the US government this month to feed the hungry poor in 15 countries.

WFP has welcomed contributions of $104 million from the US government this month to feed the hungry poor in 15 countries. Half the assistance will target escalating humanitarian needs in war-weary Afghanistan and in

Too many families are struggling daily with the effects of war and displacement, unemployment, lack of access to land, increased food costs, and the devastating impact of droughts and other natural disasters
Jordan Dey, Director of US Relations for WFP

Zimbabwe, where failed harvests have compounded the plight of the poorest families.

“With more than 850 million hungry poor in the world, generous contributions like these from the United States are assisting some of the most vulnerable families around the globe,” said Jordan Dey, Director of US Relations for WFP.

“Too many families are struggling daily with the effects of war and displacement, unemployment, lack of access to land, increased food costs, and the devastating impact of droughts and other natural disasters,” he said.

Refugees

US contributions for July will also assist refugees and other food-insecure populations in Ethiopia, West Bank/Gaza, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Tanzania, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, and a Central American programme that encompasses El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The latest series of major donations, from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), bring total American contributions to WFP operations for the fiscal year to $854 million. The United States is WFP’s single largest donor.

The largest US donation for July, at $26.2 million, is for Afghanistan, where increasing insecurity has further exacerbated the enormous recovery needs after more than two decades of conflict and recurring natural disasters.

Deep poverty

Despite economic growth over the past four years, the rugged, landlocked country remains one of the world’s poorest – with more than half of the 24-million population rooted in deep poverty.

WFP’s relief and rehabilitation programme each year targets some 3.5 million of the country’s most vulnerable people, including children, refugees and internally displaced.

The US contribution of $23.4 million for Zimbabwe will provide short-term relief to more than 1.9 million residents affected by the poor harvest and worsening economic situation. Also in July, WFP received $13.8 million for Ethiopia, where it assists 4 million people seeking to rebuild their assets and livelihoods in a landscape of recurring natural disaster.

Gaza

In West Bank/Gaza, a US donation of $8.8 million will assist 665,000 Palestinians struggling to meet basic household needs amid a deteriorating economy and protracted conflict.

In Somalia, an $8.6 million contribution seeks to reach 1.1 million people whose lives have been shattered by renewed civil strife, as well as the after-effects of drought and flooding.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, still confronting heavy violence in the east that has uprooted millions of people over the years, will receive a contribution of $7.6 million that will steer food assistance to victims of armed conflict and other vulnerable groups. The programme will also focus on the nutritional needs of malnourished children and populations living with HIV/AIDS.

Building on a South African regional initiative, US donations totaling $6.8 million will be distributed to Swaziland, Lesotho and Mozambique to help more than a million of the region’s most vulnerable people.

Food insecurity

Floods, droughts, poor harvests in the region and spiking food prices have greatly increased needs in an area already suffering from chronic food insecurity and some of the highest HIV-prevalence rates in the world. WFP supports the most vulnerable through programmes that include general distributions.

Kenya, meanwhile, will receive $5.3 million from the US, roughly half of it for Sudanese and Somali refugees who fled conflict in their home countries. The majority of refugees are entirely dependent upon international assistance for their survival, and many children in the camps are suffering from “crisis-level” malnutrition.

The other half of the US donation is aimed at pastoral and farming populations who lost livestock and other assets during the severe drought of 2005-6.

Neighbouring Tanzania is to receive $2.9 million to assist refugees living in seven camps in the northwest, as well as other vulnerable people within the host communities.

A Central American regional operation that is working to strengthen emergency preparedness in four countries – El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – will receive a $900,000 contribution to enable marginalised populations to cope better with natural disasters that in recent years have included hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.