WFP will support more than half a million vulnerable people through a new two-year programme
BISHKEK – The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) plans to deliver nearly 25,500 tons of food assistance to more than half a million vulnerable people in rural areas across the Kyrgyz Republic through a new two-year operation that begins this year.
Under this project, WFP will support the Ministry of Social Protection and other government counterparts in improving food security nationwide as well as people’s livelihoods especially those who struggle to grow or buy enough food.
“WFP’s new assistance programmes will help people to achieve sustainable improvements in their livelihoods and food security,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Rasmus Egendal. “Their exposure to natural disasters, high dependence on imports of food and energy as well as weak social safety nets have exacerbated the situation, particularly for the poorest and most food insecure people who were impacted by last year’s conflict and high food prices.”
A WFP food security assessment conducted earlier this year found that the number families who struggle to meet their basic food needs had increased from four percent of the population in autumn 2010 to 14 percent (close to 800,000 people) in spring 2011. Almost 25 percent of these people resort to negative coping mechanisms like eating smaller portions, skipping meals and sometimes even spending spend days without eating. This exposes the poorest households to immediate health and nutritional risks and threatens the physical and mental development of their children.
To address these concerns, WFP will continue to provide targeted seasonal food assistance to families in rural communities throughout the country. This will ensure that they can feed their families throughout winter- and the pre-harvest lean season in spring without having to adopt harmful coping strategies.
Secondly, where possible, WFP will implement food for work activities that aim to improve the poorest households’ access to basic food needs. Participants in these schemes will receive WFP food rations in return for working on building rural assets including vegetable production, restoration of pastures and irrigation networks as well as disaster preparedness activities such as securing river banks and reinforcing drainage systems.
WFP will also support government efforts to strengthen food security monitoring to better anticipate and respond to food security issues. This will include an early warning component that links climate change and environmental degradation to the impact on food security.
Since operations began in the country in 2009, WFP has implemented programmes at a total cost of more than US$4o million reaching over a million hungry people through assistance and rehabilitation programmes.
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Elizabeth Zalkind, WFP Kyrgyz Republic, Tel: (+996) 555 940 420