UN World Food Programme

WFP welcomes Spain's support for Cambodia's hungry, but more needed

WFP has warmly welcomed a critical and timely contribution of 500,000 euros (US$648,000) from the Government of Spain that will allow it to resume vital food assistance to more than one million poor and vulnerable Cambodians.

WFP has warmly welcomed a critical and timely contribution of 500,000 euros (US$648,000) from the Government of Spain that will allow it to resume vital food assistance to more than one million poor and vulnerable Cambodians.

This contribution is crucial as thousands of Cambodians continue to suffer from the effects of malnutrition and of not having enough to eat

Thomas Keusters, WFP Country Director in Cambodia

The Spanish donation provides a much needed boost to WFP’s operations in Cambodia, following the recent suspension of programmes in education and health as a result of funding shortages.

“Three weeks ago, WFP appealed that it needed at least US$10 million to assist 1.1 million hungry and poor Cambodians until July 2007," said Thomas Keusters, WFP Country Director in Cambodia.

Supporting HIV/AIDS victims

The current stoppage has already affected 650,000 school children, 70,000 people affected by HIV/AIDS and 18,000 tuberculosis patients. We are very grateful to the Government of Spain for its generous donation and support at this critical time,” he said.

“We are now in a position to resume some of our programmes, especially in support of HIV/AIDS victims, sooner than originally announced. But we do note that WFP in Cambodia still needs further urgent contributions from the international community if we are to continue to provide much needed food assistance,” Keusters added.

“I am aware of the daily difficulties faced by the population and I am satisfied that my Government can improve the livelihoods of the Cambodian poor,” said Leire Pajin, Spain’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation.

Crucial contribution

The suspension of food assistance to the HIV/AIDS-affected beneficiaries came at a time when there is an increased need for care, support and impact mitigation as more people infected with HIV become sick and require medical care.

“This contribution is crucial as thousands of Cambodians continue to suffer from the effects of malnutrition and of not having enough to eat,” said Keusters.

"We welcome this substantial first-time contribution for the people of Cambodia and look forward to continued and future cooperation with the Government of Spain in fighting hunger in Cambodia.”

Donation

This donation marks the first direct contribution by the Government of Spain to WFP Cambodia. It follows a progressive and substantial increase in support to WFP globally over the last five years, from US$2.6 million to US$16.9 million per year.

Other donors to WFP’s relief and recovery operation in Cambodia include Australia (US$ 10.9 million), Japan (US$ 7.7 million), Canada (US$ 800,000) and Saudi Arabia (US$ 450,000). A further US$ 3 million has been received in multilateral contributions, as well as US$ 1.2 million from the private sector.