Russian Federation Supports WFP Winter Assistance

Published on 19 November 2011

Poor families from a remote Kyrgyz village are receiving their two-month food rations at a WFP distribution point. Copyright: WFP/ Maxim Shubovich.

BISHKEK – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) began Wednesday providing food assistance to more than 270,000 people in rural areas across the Kyrgyz Republic to help them through the harsh winter season.

The Russian Federation supports WFP winter assistance programme providing US$5 million worth of  wheat flour to support hundreds of thousands of the poorest and most food insecure people across the country. 
More than 6,600 metric tons of wheat flour began arriving by rail to Osh and Bishkek and will be distributed in Kyrgyzstan’s seven oblasts over the next few months. 
“This contribution comes at one of the most critical times of the year for poor households, when food stocks from harvests are beginning to be exhausted and when food prices start reaching their annual peak,” said WFP Deputy Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic Michael Huggins. “Without this help, many households would just not make it through the winter without endangering their health and welfare.”
Temperatures have already plummeted across the Kyrgyz Republic and heavy snowfalls are reported in many parts of the country affecting vulnerable households’ food security. WFP food security assessments over the past two years show that nearly half the population experiences food shortages during winter and spring, compared to around one in five during the post-harvest period. 
Valentin Vaslov speaking to a womanThe Russian Federation’s Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Valentin Vlasov attended the first round of distributions and met WFP beneficiaries in Issyk-Kul province, 350 km east of the capital Bishkek. 
Over the last two years alone, the Russian Federation has contributed US$12 million to WFP assistance programmes in the Kyrgyz Republic. Thanks to their continuous support, WFP has been able to purchase over 15,000 metric tons of wheat flour that have been distributed to the poorest and most food-insecure families throughout the country via various WFP food assistance programmes.
“Together with the Government of the Russian Federation, WFP has saved lives over the last few years by ensuring the hungriest and poorest men, women, and children in the Kyrgyz Republic have been able to eat at critical time of the year,” Huggins added.