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Official statements announcing key developments in WFP operations and activities.
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651497
10/13/2017 - 15:38

Concerns are growing that progress in defeating global hunger is being reversed as record numbers of people flee their homes to escape fighting.

“Someday in the future, World Food Day will be a celebration of a peaceful and well-fed world. Sadly, that day seems very far off right now. We have far too much violence and conflict, and that is why we have more people who are hungry and in need of assistance,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

After steadily declining for over a decade, hunger is on the rise again and of the 815 million hungry people on the planet, 489 million live in countries affected by conflict, the annual UN report on food security and nutrition revealed last month.

 “I call on the people in power, the people with guns, to stop the fighting now,” said Beasley, who has met many people fleeing conflict and violence in Yemen, South Sudan and Bangladesh over the past few months.  “I saw their wounds with my own eyes and I heard their stories with my own ears. They were frightened, hungry and malnourished after enduring a nightmare that most people cannot even imagine. If we are truly going to end hunger, we must stop this kind of inhumanity.”

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017 report found that while most countries had achieved significant gains in reducing hunger in the last 25 years, progress in the majority of countries affected by conflict had stagnated or deteriorated. Conflicts can devastate the economy, disrupt agriculture and lead to forced population movements.

A WFP study published earlier this year established a link between hunger and migration. It found that countries with the highest level of hunger, coupled with armed conflict, have the highest outward migration. For each additional year of conflict and bloodshed, an extra 40 people out of 10,000 will flee their country. It showed that people often move several times within their own country before crossing borders, leaving behind their land, jobs and livelihoods.

In war-torn countries, where agriculture and trade is disrupted and the economy collapses, the cost of a simple, nutritious plate of food can be more than a day’s wages. WFP has developed an index where we have worked out the cost of a basic plate of food to people in 33 developing countries as a share of their average daily income. In Counting the Beans: The True Cost of a Plate of Food around the World, we show that in South Sudan, for example,  the cost could be the equivalent of a New Yorker having to pay US$321 for a modest lunch – say a plate of bean stew -- cooked at home. At the height of the siege of the Syrian town of Deir Ezzor, the same meal worked out at nearly US$200.

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Hi-res photos available for download here.
Broadcast quality video available here

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media  
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 3857 7411, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob. 1-202-770-5993

 

ROME – The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme today made an impassioned plea for peace amid mounting evidence of the links between conflict, migration and rising hunger.

651496
10/12/2017 - 16:13

Since the end of September, more than 15,000 people have moved to nearby cities and quieter areas of Sabratha city.

“With the help of our Libyan partners on the ground, WFP is delivering enough food this week to feed 1,500 people who have been severely affected by fighting,” says WFP Libya Country Director, Richard Ragan.

WFP is providing food assistance to almost 300 families, with each ration offering a family of five a month’s supply of rice, pasta, wheat flour, chickpeas, vegetable oil, sugar and tomato paste.

“Because of the conflict, many of the normal systems that people depend on to meet their daily needs have ceased to function,” says Ragan. “WFPs support gives hope to those most in need and offers life-saving food assistance during a period when help is most urgently needed.”

In 2017, WFP aims to assist 175,000 Libyans whose food insecurity means they do not know where their next meal is coming from. Priority is being given to the most vulnerable families, especially internally displaced people, returnees and refugees, as well as households headed by unemployed women.

The humanitarian situation in Libya continues to deteriorate due to ongoing conflict, political instability, and the disruption of markets and local food production, all of which affect families’ livelihoods and their ability to meet basic needs, including food.

WFP – dependent entirely on voluntary contributions from governments, companies and individuals - urgently requires US$9.2 million to continue its food assistance operations in Libya for the next six months.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_MENA

For more information please contact (firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Flavia Brunetti, WFP/Libya, tel. +21658558309
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, tel. + 201015218882

 

 

TUNIS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has started providing vital food assistance to families who have been displaced by clashes between armed groups in western Libya’s Sabratha. The area has recently experienced an upsurge of conflict.

651493
10/12/2017 - 15:56
Climate Change

The project, the first to have been submitted by WFP to the Fund, was approved by the 18th GCF Board Meeting in Cairo, Egypt. It will be managed by the government of Senegal in partnership with WFP.

“Climate shocks that impact food production and livelihoods are a real threat to ending hunger and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals in Senegal,” said Guy Adoua, the WFP Representative in the country.  “This project is a step in the right direction to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.  It will permit smallholder farmers have access to agricultural insurance, learn to make savings, increase and diversify what they produce and invest in agricultural inputs.”

The project is designed to improve the food and income security of some 45,000 vulnerable farming households in the regions of Kaffrine, Kolda, Tambacounda, Fatick and Kaolack. It builds on the Rural Resilience Initiative (R4) - a global partnership between WFP and Oxfam America - which links weather-indexed insurance, financial services, and soil and water conservation schemes for the benefit of farmers in hazard-prone environments.

Senegal is highly vulnerable to shocks and stresses associated with climate change. Irregular rainfall patterns and the 2011/2012 drought have highlighted the impact of climate hazards on food production, access to markets, and livelihoods. The long-term vision is for the government of Senegal to mainstream climate change adaptation and climate risk management into its national safety net and social protection programmes.

The GCF is a global fund that supports developing countries in their climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. Established within the framework of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2010, the GCF represents the newest and largest architecture of climate finance with over US$10 billion in pledges.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @WFP_WAfrica

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Gernot Laganda, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513-3272, Mob. +393427737343
Guy Adoua, WFP/Senegal, Tel. +221 33 859 7550, Mob. +221 17 863 82888
David Orr, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 0665133179, Mob. +39 3402466831

 

ROME – A project designed by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the government of Senegal to make smallholder farmers in West Africa better able to cope with the impact of climate change has been approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The US$10 million project will benefit some 400,000 smallholder farmers and vulnerable people in Senegal, helping them become more resilient to climate shocks such as drought which has afflicted much of Africa in recent decades.

651492
10/10/2017 - 14:46

Japan’s contribution will allow WFP to provide families with monthly food assistance that includes wheat flour and vegetable oil enriched with minerals and micronutrients in addition to pulses and iodized salt. Recipient families, comprised mostly of women and children, are among the poorest in Gaza and depend on the Ministry of Social Development Social Safety Nets assistance programme, which includes food provided by WFP.  

WFP will also use the contribution to buy Japanese-produced, high-quality canned tuna, which is an excellent source of protein and micronutrients such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron. WFP will store part of the purchase of canned tuna as a contingency stock in case of an emergency.

Ambassador of Japan to Palestine Takeshi Okubo, Minister of Social Development Ibrahim Al-Shaer and WFP Representative and Country Director Daniela Owen signed the contribution agreement yesterday in Ramallah.

“WFP would like to thank the Government of Japan for providing critical food assistance to the most impoverished residents of Gaza,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Daniela Owen. “With so much suffering, compounded by an energy crisis and its devastating impact on basic services, WFP food assistance is one thing the people of Gaza can count on. We greatly appreciate Japan’s support to make this assistance possible.”

Japan’s support also enables WFP to invest in the local economy through local purchases and cash and vouchers that people can redeem in local shops. Since 2011, WFP has injected more than US$242 million into the Palestinian economy through its local food purchases and use of electronic vouchers.   
 
“The Government of Japan has extended this donation to WFP to prevent malnutrition and hunger in Palestine and help ensure that all Palestinians have physical, social and economic access to their daily food needs for an active and healthy life,” said Ambassador Okubo. “We hope that this donation will contribute to alleviating poverty and to achieving economic and social stability in Gaza.”

Japan’s generous and predictable contributions have been significant for WFP to maintain assistance to the poorest non-refugee Palestinians, particularly in Gaza where food insecurity affects four out of ten people and unemployment and poverty are rampant.  

“We are grateful to the Japanese people and government for their support that will undoubtedly enable WFP to work with the Palestinian community to improve nutrition and build resilience, especially in Gaza,” said Palestinian Authority Minister of Social Development Ibrahim Al-Shaer. “We also value the continued support of WFP and our partnership, which has a substantial positive impact on people facing economic hardship.”

The donation brings Japan’s total contributions to WFP programmes in Palestine since 2005 to nearly US$48 million, placing Japan among WFP’s top donors in the country as well as one of the largest donors to WFP globally.

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About WFP

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

For more information, please visit: www.wfp.org or Facebook, or on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

For more information please contact:
Yasmine Abuelassal, WFP/Jerusalem, Mob. +972 546773170, email: yasmin.abuelassal@wfp.org
Yuki Igarashi, Second Secretary, Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, email: yuki.igarashi@mofa.go.jp

 

RAMALLAH – The Government of Japan has announced a JPY 350 million (approximately US$3.2 million) contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) that will provide six months of food assistance for to 52,000 of the most vulnerable non-refugee Palestinians living in Gaza.

651489
10/09/2017 - 08:42

The Safety Nets Alert Platform (SNAP) creates multiple food security scenarios based on food price spikes caused by natural disasters, conflicts or socio-economic crises. It was developed with funding from the people of Japan.

“Efficient and evidence-based food security forecasting is invaluable in ensuring a timely and effective response to critical food security situations,” said Azamat Dikambaev, the NISS Director, in Bishkek.

SNAP uses dynamic market price monitoring and analysis to detect fluctuations in food prices. The system produces simulations showing the likely impact of external shocks on household food and nutrition security.

SNAP presents results in an easy-to-understand way, enabling decision-makers to identify the social protection measures best-suited to helping vulnerable people in times of hardship.

“With an efficient monitoring system in place, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic will be able to make informed decisions and respond to any food security risk across the country,” said WFP Representative and Country Director, Andrea Bagnoli. “Such detailed data will make it possible to address food security situations before they deteriorate.” 

Integrated with the comprehensive database from the annual Kyrgyz Integrated Household Survey, SNAP provides robust food security analysis at household level. The system provides information on topics such as family income, food expenditure, and kilocalorie and nutrient consumption.

With a view to expanding the system’s functions, WFP and NISS have helped set up a working group that includes the ministries of Economy, Labour and Social Development and Emergency Situations as well as the National Statistic Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic to look at expanding the system.

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About WFP:
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media 

For more information please contact:
WFP: Elizabeth Zalkind, WFP/Bishkek, Email: elizabeth.zalkind@wfp.org, Tel: +993 312 660033, Mobile: +996 555 940 420

BISHKEK – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the National Strategic Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS) have developed an innovative online platform which can forecast food security crises before they become critical. The system, which collects and analyses massive amounts of food price data, provides early warning so that governments can take action before it is too late.

651486
10/04/2017 - 14:36

The people of Yemen are reeling from more than two-plus years of conflict that has given rise to the world’s single worst hunger crisis. In Yemen, more than 17 million people – two in three people – do not know where their next meal is coming from.

“The support from Japan comes at a crucial time for the people of Yemen who are facing unimaginable suffering,” says WFP Yemen Representative and Country Director Stephen Anderson. “Our latest assessments indicate that hunger is highest in the areas worst-impacted by cholera. Those are precisely the areas that we are targeting with our nutrition feeding programmes.”

Since April, cholera has taken more than 2,000 lives, with more than 750,000 suspected cases. Those most at risk are malnourished children who have weakened immune systems.

“We’re very concerned about the dire situation in Yemen and are determined to continue our efforts to alleviate the people’s suffering,” said Charge d’Affairs of Embassy of Japan to Yemen Yoji Hattori.

The Government of Japan has been one of WFP’s most consistent and reliable partners in Yemen. Earlier this year, Japan made contributions to WFP in Yemen totalling US$18 million.

Despite conflict and access constraints affecting its ability to deliver life-saving support, WFP reached a record seven million people with food and nutrition assistance in August. However, due to lack of timely and adequate funding, only half of these people received full rations, while the remainder received only 60 percent of a full food ration.

WFP efforts to avert famine in the country is less than 50 percent funded until the end of 2017. For the coming six months through March 2018, WFP is facing a funding shortfall of US$350 million. Unless more funding is forthcoming, there is a very real risk that more people could sink deeper into hunger and become more vulnerable to illness and death.

WFP also aims to provide nutrition support to 2.9 million children and pregnant and nursing mother through therapeutic food products designed to prevent and treat malnutrition. Meanwhile, WFP is scaling up its logistics and information technology support for UN and other humanitarian organizations responding to the cholera outbreak in Yemen.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @WFP_MENA

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Mohamed Megahed, WFP/Amman, Tel. +962 791295749
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634522
David Orr, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65133179, Mob. +39 340 2366831 7600521
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob. +1-202-770-5993

 

SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a US$1 million contribution from the Government of Japan to provide much-needed food and nutrition assistance in Yemen over the coming months. With these funds, WFP will be able to assist more than 130,000 people, including some 47,000 nursing mothers and pregnant women in areas hardest hit by cholera.

651481
10/02/2017 - 13:27

“We are facing a critical shortage of resources which has compelled us to reduce the amount of food given to the refugees only six months after we resumed full rations,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Annalisa Conte. “WFP urgently needs US$28.5 million to adequately cover the food assistance needs for the refugees for the next six months.”

“Working closely with UNHCR and other partners, WFP strives to meet urgent food and nutrition needs of refugees and other vulnerable groups, and calls upon all parties to take all necessary steps to end conflicts and create conditions for refugees to safely return home,” she added.

WFP provides food assistance to refugees in Kenya as a combination of food (cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, and nutrient-enriched flour) and cash transfers sent via mobile phones used to buy fresh food items from local traders.

Starting this month, WFP will reduce the share of food while keeping the cash transfers unchanged. Overall, refugees living in Dadaab and Kakuma camps will receive a food ration equivalent to 70 percent of their requirements.

In addition, WFP will not provide fortified flour to the general population as the low stocks remaining will be prioritized for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers through health clinics.   This may lead to a rise in levels of malnutrition among the refugees.

“Cutting rations is a last resort and we hope that it is only a short-term measure as we continue to appeal to the international community to assist,” said Conte. “An abrupt halt to food assistance would be devastating for the refugees, most of whom rely fully on WFP for their daily meals.”

WFP has provided food and cash to refugees this year thanks to the generosity of donations from Canada, China, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Germany, Hungary, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.  

If new funds are received immediately, WFP can quickly mobilize food stocks from within the region, and/or increase the amount of cash transfers to the refugees allowing them to buy adequate food from the local markets.

In addition to the general food ration and cash transfers, WFP provides nutritious foods to young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, to stave off malnutrition. Primary school pupils receive porridge in school, which helps them concentrate on their classes and acts as an incentive to their families to send them to school. For the time being, WFP can maintain these critical safety nets for refugees.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_africa

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Martin Karimi, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 20 762 2301, Mob. +254 707 722 161
Amanda Lawrence-Brown, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 20 762 2336, Mob. +254 707 722 105

 

NAIROBI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will cut food rations by 30 percent for the 420,000 refugees in living in Dadaab and Kakuma camps in northern Kenya due to insufficient funding.

651491
10/02/2017 - 09:00

The winning design portrays Miriam’s experience of her school in Badghis province, where students sits under trees or in the school yard because there are not enough class rooms. The moving drawing, which depicts one of her literacy classes, was among 20 finalists chosen from a short list of 120 drawings by schoolchildren in 22 different countries.

Recently, in Badghis province, WFP presented Mariam, aged 12, and her school with a prize in recognition of the excellent work they do in spite of their challenging situation. 

All the students competing in the event are attending schools that participate in WFP’s worldwide school meals programmes, which are designed to both fortify the health of school children as well as keep them in the classroom even during difficult times. Students receive meals or snacks in school, and/or take-home rations. 

Around the world, WFP provides food to more than 16 million children in school meals programmes in 60 countries. Education plays a significant role in breaking the cycle of hunger, and WFP strives to reach the poorest and most vulnerable children. 

Mariam loves drawing and wants to travel the world. Through her drawing, she wishes to show her country’s problems. She dreams of becoming a heart surgeon when she grows up. “The vegetable oil I receive from WFP, is enough for my family, we don’t need to buy cooking oil from market,” vows the seventh grade student at Abgarmak girl’s high school in Qala-I-Naw, Badghis province. “I want to continue my study and go to Turkey for my higher education.” 

“These children are the future of Afghanistan. To ensure a healthy future for the country we must to invest in their education today,”  Said Mick Lorentzen, WFP Representative and Country Director for Afghanistan.
The theme of this year’s competition, which involved both a drawing and an accompanying explanatory text, was “Zero Hunger: The future begins with food.” 

Five drawings from Afghanistan were originally submitted to the competition judges at WFP Headquarters in Rome, Italy. They were selected from more than 40 entries.

“All of us at WFP congratulate these young artists for creating such unique and inspiring works,” said Mr. Lorentzen. 

The designs from the competition will be displayed in WFP Headquarters and will also be incorporated into wall calendars and greeting cards for global distribution to raise awareness of the World Food Programme’s work.

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About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

WFP has been working in Afghanistan since 1963 with the aim of helping Afghans build a hunger-free future for themselves and their country. WFP food is distributed on the basis of need, without regard for ethnicity, religion or political affiliation. 

WFP Afghanistan operates a feedback hotline number and welcomes comments, complaints and feedback regarding the distribution of WFP food assistance. Please call: 0790-555-544

Contact information:
Wahidullah Amani, WFP/Kabul, +93(0)706-004-884, wahidullah.amani@wfp.org
Fezeh Hosseini, WFP/Kabul, +93(0)706-004-847, fezeh.hosseini@wfp.org  

Kabul – Artwork by Mariam Ahmadi has been named as one of the winners in the international WFP Children's Design Competition for 2017, organized by the United Nations World Food Programme. 

651479
10/01/2017 - 15:53

“I have heard heart-breaking stories today, speaking to people who ran for their lives and saw loved ones killed before their eyes. These horrors must stop. Many of these people were receiving WFP food assistance in Myanmar. Now, they will receive WFP food assistance in Bangladesh, until they are able to return home safely,” Beasley said.

Beasley, in his first visit to Bangladesh since his assuming office in April, saw a WFP food distribution in an area adjacent to Kutupalong refugee camp, where hundreds of thousands of people have settled in makeshift shelters over the past month. Beasley toured the 2,000-acre area that has been allocated by the government to accommodate the new arrivals. He also saw a WFP e-voucher shop, where registered refugees redeem monthly electronic food vouchers.

“WFP started distributing food as soon as the influx began, and has scaled up operations to reach almost half a million refugees in the past month with life-saving assistance,” said Beasley. “We are grateful for the generous support of the donor community that has made this possible.”

WFP has distributed rice to some 460,000 refugees, and has also been providing high-energy biscuits to more than 200,000 people as a one-off emergency measure when they arrive in the settlements and at border crossing points.

As the situation stabilizes, WFP plans to transition to more sophisticated programmes, especially with a view to supporting the nutritional needs of women and children and developing electronic voucher programmes that integrate with markets.

The food for new arrivals comes in addition to assistance that WFP provides through e-vouchers to 34,000 registered refugees living in official camps. Another 72,500 undocumented refugees living in makeshift camps, who arrived after the last outbreak of violence in October 2016, before the present influx, receive rice and nutrition support.

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Note to editors
For broll footage of WFP’s operations and the Executive Director’s visit, please contact:
Jonathan Dumont, WFP/Bangladesh, Mob.+39 340 2249 140, jonathan.dumont@wfp.org

Photos are available here. Please email silke.buhr@wfp.org for high resolution images.
Photos should be credited as follows: WFP/Saikat Mojumder

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_asia

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Maherin Ahmed, WFP/Bangladesh, Mob. +880-1755-64-2160
Silke Buhr, WFP/Bangladesh. Mob. ++880-1755-64-2150
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-556-6909, Mob. +1-202-770-5993
Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 3857 7411, Mob. +44 7968008474

 

COX’S BAZAR – The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, today reiterated WFP’s commitment to supporting people fleeing violence in Myanmar as he met refugee families and saw WFP relief activities in the new settlements in the Cox’s Bazar area.

651478
09/29/2017 - 16:42

Some 10 metric tons of WFP high-energy biscuits were transported by ship to the eastern Caribbean island this week and then delivered to communities in the remote interior by helicopter and to coastal communities by boat. Overall, WFP plans to provide a range of food assistance to some 25,000 people for three months. WFP has already discussed with the government a system to supply hurricane-affected people with vouchers to be exchanged for food in local markets once they reopen.

WFP is also providing critical logistics, air service and telecommunications support to Dominica and the humanitarian relief response.  The WFP Emergency Telecommunications Team – with the support of experts from the Ericsson Response Team and the Government of Luxembourg — has set up connectivity in Dominica to some 400 registered users including the Government Emergency Operations Centre, the island’s airports and hospitals, and the Dominican, Venezuelan and French fire brigades.

“Dominica has been badly battered and needs to be rebuilt,” says WFP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Miguel Barreto, who has visited the island in recent days. “We’re working with the government to support the people who are facing huge challenges in their lives.”

Barreto and UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Stephen O’Malley, have held discussions with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, and visited some of the worst-hit areas.

“We’ve been talking to the government about how to help them get their systems up and running again,” says O’Malley. “People want to go back to their normal lives and we can help them do that.”

WFP’s emergency efforts are part of a larger United Nations operation to provide a range of assistance including disaster relief, humanitarian coordination, shelter and water. On the logistics side, the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Panama and the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) – both managed by WFP — are providing support to humanitarian partners in Dominica and the region.

The UNHRD in Panama has been airlifting critical emergency supplies, including mobile storage units and pallets, tarpaulins, boats, and electric generators to support needs while UNHAS has been providing regular flight services to humanitarian workers, government officials and partners.

Two vessels from the Royal Dutch Navy and their crew have been assisting the humanitarian community in transporting food and non-food items from Antigua to Dominica.

In the wake of a series of hurricanes which have ravaged the Caribbean, WFP – from its operational hubs in Barbados and Antigua - has been working closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, island governments and international partners.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Norha Restrepo, WFP Latin America and the Caribbean, +507 317 3900
David Orr, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 0665 133 268, Mob. + 39 3402 466 831
Francis Mwanza, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 38577411, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79 842 8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646 525 9982
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Washington Tel. +1-202-653-1149   Mob. +1-202-774-4026

 

ROME – Emergency food supplies from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have been delivered for distribution on the Caribbean island of Dominica which was devastated by Hurricane Maria early last week. The Category 5 hurricane has claimed nearly 30 lives, and damaged an estimated 80 percent of buildings on the mountainous island while many roads have been blocked or damaged.