WFP and Australia ramp up support to millions of people battling COVID, conflict and climate change in Asia and the Pacific
The United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) humanitarian operations are getting a major boost with an AUD 34.7 million contribution from the Government of Australia. The funding will assist communities across the Indo-Pacific region affected by hunger as a result of conflict, COVID-19, or climate emergencies.
Afghanistan and Myanmar will receive AUD 21 million to help WFP meet the food needs of millions of people. In Afghanistan, economic distress due to COVID-19, conflict, and drought have pushed 14 million - 1 in 3 Afghans – into acute food insecurity. In Myanmar, the political crisis, job losses and the pandemic mean 3.4 million more people will struggle to put food on the table.
The remainder will help WFP operations, including in Indonesia and the Philippines. Previous contributions this year have supported Bangladesh and Timor-Leste. Australian support has also been critical in sustaining WFP’s humanitarian air service to ensure supplies and personnel can get to the frontlines of the pandemic.
“At this challenging time, Australia is standing with the governments and the people across the Indo-Pacific. Our funding will support WFP’s vital work, enabling its teams on the ground to reach those in greatest need,” said James Gilling, DFAT’s Humanitarian Coordinator.
In 2020, WFP reached a record 17 million people in the Indo-Pacific. As COVID closed schools and businesses, WFP distributed take-home food rations for students, and food deliveries for migrant workers in quarantine. Assistance was also provided for refugees and local communities hit by typhoons, cyclones, and floods. In 2021, 23 million people across the region need WFP’s help.
“More than half of the world’s hungriest people live in our region. Generous donors like Australia have enabled WFP to touch the lives of the poorest and most marginalized communities since COVID struck. This year, we are confronted with extraordinary humanitarian needs, and once again, we have received extraordinary support from DFAT,” said WFP’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, John Aylieff.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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