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WFP To Expand Food Assistance To Vulnerable Egyptians

CAIRO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today said it is continuing to provide food assistance to vulnerable Egyptian families and is making plans to expand its existing food-for-education and food-for-work programmes to include more people affected by the economic slowdown under the current political crisis.

Over the past few days, WFP has provided food to more than 3,000 schoolchildren and their families, distributing a 15-day ration - mainly fortified date bars- as well as a one month advance of take home rations (10 kilograms of rice). Close to 11,500 family members in the southern governorates of Assiut and Sohag benefited from this round of distributions.

Distribution to other governorates in Upper Egypt will resume next week.   Across the country, more than 300,000 school children receive daily nutritious date bars biscuits fortified with essential vitamins and minerals through WFP's school meal programme.

"We are committed to maintaining nutritional assistance to the most vulnerable Egyptians and especially children at a time when poverty and the economic slowdown will hit the country's poorest population" said Gianpietro Bordignon, WFP Egypt Representative and Country Director.

"WFP will increase its efforts to mobilize support to address food insecurity and malnutrition by expanding our safety net programmes as needs grow," Bordignon added.

WFP operational activities have resumed at full capacity. Many operations continued during the last two weeks in the governorates not directly affected by the crisis. Food distributions have continued under the food-for-asset project in Aswan and the southern Red Sea governorates.

WFP has also maintained its support for the national programmes to fortify with iron and folic acid the wheat flour used in making baladi bread, already benefiting more than 50 million Egyptians as well as the similar programme for fortifying cooking oil with vitamin A, recently launched and going also to benefit millions of Egyptians. 

For further information:
Rania ElRazzaz, WFP/Cairo, Tel +2 02 25281730 ext. 4490, rania.elrazzaz@wfp.org