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Czech Funding Helps Thousands In Ethiopia Avoid Malnutrition

ADDIS ABABA – A recent contribution by the Czech Republic allows the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide specialized nutritious food to 8,000 children and mothers in drought-affected areas of Ethiopia for three months.

“With these funds, the Czech Republic is making an investment in Ethiopia’s future, as it allows us to immediately purchase a nutritious fortified cereal blend which helps malnourished children recover,” said Samir Wanmali, Deputy Country Director for WFP in Ethiopia. “Undernutrition can have lifelong effects on a child, and assistance like this – especially in a time of crisis – is critical to helping Ethiopia’s next generation grow up healthy.”

Thanks to the contribution of $200,000 from the Czech Republic, WFP is able to buy 140 metric tons of Super Cereal Plus, a fortified blended food that contains wheat flour, soy protein, milk powder, sugar, and oil as well as essential vitamins and minerals. As a supplement to their existing diet, Super Cereal Plus helps to ensure that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children get the nutrients, protein and energy that they need.

“We have been closely following the situation regarding the impact of this year’s El Niño in Ethiopia, which is one of the priority countries of Czech development cooperation. We have managed to mobilize without unnecessary delay additional funds above our normal humanitarian budget before the end of 2015 to contribute to the common effort of Ethiopia and international partners in response to this crisis,” said Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Karel Hejč.

Because of the drought related to El Nino, enrolment in WFP’s nutrition programmes has tripled since the beginning of the year. The Ethiopian government recently announced that 10 million people will need emergency food assistance in the first half of 2016 because of the drought. WFP, together with the government, is tasked with assisting around 7.6 million people, but WFP currently has only 3 percent of the necessary funding to meet that need.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Melese Awoke, WFP/Addis Ababa, Mob. +251 911 201 981