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Colombian Government and WFP to launch US$157 million operation to assist displaced in Colombia

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Colombian Government have agreed to implement a US$157-million joint operation to provide food and other humanitarian assistance to more than 530,000 displaced people annually in the country over the next three years.

The three-year humanitarian and food assistance operation, starting in April 2008, will be the largest international cooperation programme for internally displaced persons ever developed by a UN agency in Colombia.

Unanimous support

“The unanimous support for the implementation of these activities is not only the result of the excellent relationship between WFP and the Colombian Government but also testament to the positive results WFP has achieved in the country during the last few years,” said Praveen Agrawal, WFP Country Director in Colombia.

The Colombian Ambassador to the UN agencies in Rome, H.E. Sabas Pretelt de la Vega, affirmed that this is the largest amount of resources approved for humanitarian activities in Colombia in recent years.

International donors

WFP will appeal to international donors for US$93 million, while the Colombian Government has pledged to provide US$64 million.

Food assistance will be provided through various projects, including school feeding, food for training, food for work, food assistance for vulnerable communities at high risk of displacement and assistance for vulnerable host communities, among others.

WFP currently assists more than 500,000 people in Colombia every year, particularly families affected by internal displacement through a network of ten field offices located countrywide.