DUBAI, UAE - The World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$1 million donation from the Sharjah government to finance food aid assistance in Myanmar, South-East Asia.
This donation from HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, is the first ever cash support from the United Arab Emirates to WFP aimed at helping the poor and underprivileged.
"WFP highly appreciates this generous gesture and is looking forward to more bilateral cooperation with the UAE. This donation will help us provide food and education to a significant number of poor families and children," said WFP Executive Director James Morris.
WFP started a US$12-million, two-year aid operation in Myanmar in mid-2004 to support around 416,000 people, including a new group of some 100,000 vulnerable people in an extremely poor part of the country known as the "Dry Zone." Under this operation, WFP engages the beneficiaries in food-for-work and food-for-training. The agency also gives food to schoolchildren to take home to their families and to people who are unable to work because of age, infirmity or family responsibilities.
The donation from the Sharjah Government will provide sufficient food to around 20,000 children to meet their nutritional needs for one full year. It will also ensure job opportunities and better living circumstances for 3,124 people. In addition, the money will finance the construction and re-construction of five local schools.
Morris stressed that WFP helps poor and underprivileged communities not only achieve basic household food security but also acquire access to educational and health services.
Other major donors to WFP's operations in Myanmar include: the European Union (US$2.5 million), Australia (US$1.8 million), Germany (US$1.2 million), Switzerland (US$400,000), Japan (US$300,000), Thailand (US$230,000) and New Zealand (US$190,000).
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: each year we give food aid to an average of 90 million people, including 56 million hungry children, in more than 80 countries.
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