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Official statements announcing key developments in WFP operations and activities.
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647704
08/26/2015 - 21:58
School Meals

“School Feeding: A Tool of Social Protection for Sustainable Development and Social Inclusion” is the theme of this regional meeting. The event is organized by the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion (MIDIS, in Spanish) of the Government of Peru, with the support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the School Feeding Network of Latin America and the Caribbean (La–RAE, in Spanish).

“It is proven that school feeding is an investment, not an expense,” said WFP Regional Director, Miguel Barreto. “For every dollar invested in feeding our children in schools at least three dollars are received as economic return.” 

Currently, nearly 85 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean receive daily breakfast, afternoon snack or lunch at their schools, according to WFP’s report “The State of the School Feeding Worldwide". This document also states that governments invest of approximately US$4.3 billion in providing food to students in schools.

According to Barreto, this regional meeting allows WFP and its partners to promote the expansion and strengthening of school feeding programmes as safety nets and its many benefits to achieve food and nutrition security among children attending schools, their families and their communities.
 
Throughout the seminar, participants will discuss about the sustainability and long-term continuity, quality of programmes, transparency and participation of all sectors and stakeholders in planning, implementation and feedback.

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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.

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LIMA –More than 200 participants including government representatives, regional and international school feeding experts, public and private organizations and associates, from 17 countries from the region, will participate in the VII School Feeding Seminar for LAC, which will be held from the 26th to the 28th of August 2015 in the Peruvian capital.

647702
08/26/2015 - 14:35
Responding to Emergencies

WFP and UNICEF have deployed a mobile emergency relief team to assist more than 27,000 people in Wau Shilluk, on the west bank of the Nile River, across from the state capital of Malakal. It was the first time the agencies have been able to reach people in Wau Shilluk since March. The team finished the final food distributions on Monday.

In the past several months, access problems and concerns for staff safety have prevented humanitarian agencies from reaching people living in Wau Shilluk and other areas of rural Upper Nile. Many agencies have been forced to scale down their operations on the west bank of the Nile because of insecurity.

“With little or no services available, children are going without nourishing food and healthcare in these villages,” said Jonathan Veitch, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan. “It is a desperate situation,” he added during a visit to Wau Shilluk.

Tens of thousands of people have fled remote areas in recent months to reach the Malakal United Nations Protection of Civilians (POC) site, seeking not just safety but humanitarian assistance.

“Our mobile teams provide a critical lifeline into conflict-affected areas,” said Hakan Falkell, the WFP Deputy Country Director in South Sudan. “Most internally displaced people have found refuge among host communities, and it is essential to reach them where they are so they are not exposed to further danger during the journey to access lifesaving assistance.”

In Wau Shilluk, WFP provided food assistance to more than 20,000 people. UNICEF screened more than 3,000 children under the age of 5 for malnutrition, vaccinated more than 8,000 children under the age of 15 against measles, and vaccinated more than 7,800 against polio. More than 400 pregnant women were vaccinated against tetanus.

Since WFP and UNICEF, with NGO partners, began deploying the joint teams known as Rapid Response Missions more than a year ago, the teams have reached more than 1.3 million people, including 220,000 children under the age of 5, in the most hard-to-reach areas of the country.

However, it is imperative that the parties to the conflict cease hostilities and give aid agencies more consistent access to people in need in these remote areas.

"We could see that people are struggling; there were only some fish and a few tomatoes for sale in the market, and almost nobody had the means to buy them,” said Valerie Guarnieri, the WFP Regional Director for East and Central Africa during a visit to Wau Shilluk. “We need a stronger presence by humanitarian organizations in places like Wau Shilluk to provide immediate food and nutrition support and to reopen schools, ensure health services and support agricultural production."

Fear of violence along with the absence of assistance in places like Wau Shilluk have triggered a mass influx into the Malakal POC site. This month alone nearly 11,000 people have arrived. Three-quarters of the new arrivals are children. The site’s population is likely to hit 50,000 within days, but was designed to accommodate just 18,000 people.

“At this rate of expansion, the situation inside Malakal POC will get out of control, and we won’t be able to provide sufficient services and resources to children who have been through hell to get to a place of safety,” said Veitch.

Since fighting broke out in December 2013, more than two million people have been uprooted from their homes, and 4.6 million people face severe food insecurity.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

Follow UNICEF on Facebook and Twitter

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 WFP on Twitter @wfp_media @wfp_africa

For more information, please contact:

Claire McKeever, Communications Specialist, UNICEF South Sudan, Mobile: +211 955 109 325; Email: cmckeever@unicef.org
George Fominyen, WFP/Juba, Mob. +211 922 465 247 Email: george.fominyen@wfp.org
Patricia Souza, UNICEF Regional Office, Eastern & Southern Africa; Mobile: + 254 719 214505; Email: ppsouza@unicef.org
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 20 762 2179, Mob. +254 707 722 104 challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org

For photo, B-roll and other multimedia assets, please visit: https://weshare.unicef.org/mediaresources

 

JUBA -  Despite intense insecurity in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State, UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) have managed to get urgently needed food and nutrition assistance to tens of thousands of people who had been cut off from relief agencies for months.

647696
08/26/2015 - 11:54
Responding to Emergencies

“WFP has supported the Government of Myanmar to save lives with emergency food, including supporting many who are reachable only on foot, after floods and landslides destroyed roads across the country”, says WFP Country Director & Resident Representative Dom Scalpelli. “It is quite an achievement, and I would like to thank our funding and cooperating partners for their support.”

With the provision of free transport by the Government and local airlines (Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Golden Myanmar Airlines and Myanmar National Airlines), a total of more than 2,500 metric tons of food has been delivered to the flood-affected areas so far.

More than 1.7 million people in Myanmar have been affected by widespread flooding and landslides as a result of heavy monsoon rains since early August. This natural disaster has severely damaged infrastructure, crops, businesses, food stores, homes and community assets.

WFP, working with the Government, other United Nations organizations and NGOs, aims to have reached more than 440,000 people with food assistance in Bago, Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Magway, Mon, Rakhine and Sagaing by the beginning of September. People affected by the flooding receive a one-month ration of rice, pulses, cooking oil, and salt. In some cases, they also receive a week’s supply of high-energy biscuits.

The flood response could go on until July 2016. However, the rapid response has affected other WFP programmes in the country. Limited food stocks in Myanmar along with a funding shortfall, mean that in order to focus on the most vulnerable people – those affected by the floods -- some other programmes have been temporarily reduced or suspended.

WFP has had to temporarily suspend community assets creation and school feeding programmes, nutrition assistance for pregnant women and nursing mothers, and the provision of food for people living with HIV and TB. At the same time, rations for displaced people in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States will be reduced. In August, internally displaced persons (IDPs) will receive a full ration of rice - but no pulses, cooking oil or salt. Malnourished children will not be affected by these temporary measures. They will continue to receive a full ration of fortified blended food.

WFP is appealing for additional resources to respond to the emergency. A total of US$12.3 million is now urgently required to meet flood needs. This is in addition to US$17 million required to meet the food needs of other, non-flood-related programmes in the country until the end of the year.

The flood relief efforts have so far been supported through new and previous contributions from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, European Union, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States as well as the Japan Association for WFP, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and the private sector.

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Find out more about WFP’s emergency operations in Myanmar 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 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_asia     @wfp_media

For more information please contact:

Damian Kean, WFP/Bangkok, Mob. +66 81 701 9208
Angeli Mendoza, WFP/Bangkok, Mob. +66 81 843 3915
Arsen Sahakyan, WFP/Yangon, Mob. +95 9 450061242

 

 

YANGON - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided life-saving food to more than 408,000 flood affected people in Myanmar since emergency relief efforts began on 2 August, within 48 hours of the President’s declaration of a state of natural disaster.

647660
08/19/2015 - 14:37

The conflict exacerbates the country’s extremely fragile food security situation. WFP estimates that the number of food insecure people in Yemen is now close to 13 million, including 6 million who are severely food insecure and in urgent need of external assistance – that is one in five of the country’s population.

“Right now, the conflict-driven convergence between the lack of staple food, access to clean water, and a diminished fuel supply create the dawn of a perfect storm for the most vulnerable Yemeni people,” said Ertharin Cousin, WFP Executive Director.  

“The disruption in the commercial food sector creates significant reductions in imports which causes an inflationary effect on market prices for food and other basic commodities. As a result, we are starting to see a double effect of the conflict as even the people who could previously afford to meet their food needs are today unable to buy food.”

During a three-day visit, Cousin, travelled to Sana’a, Amran and Aden. She met with displaced families taking refuge in school buildings, mothers and their young malnourished children at health centres and hospitals, as well as families at food distribution sites. She also held meetings with the authorities on both sides of the frontlines, WFP staff, UN sister agencies and NGO partners.

More than 1.2 million children are suffering from moderate acute malnutrition and over half a million children are severely malnourished. “The damage to Yemen’s next generation may become irreversible if we don’t reach children quickly with the right food at the right time. We must act now before it is too late,” said Cousin.

The recent fighting around major ports will stall the commercial and humanitarian supplies to the country mainly food and fuel. Shortages of fuel are not only impacting the food distribution system of both the humanitarian and the private sector but will have a devastating effect on access to clean water, health, electricity and other basic services.

WFP has reached 3.5 million people with food since the beginning of the conflict but the fighting makes deliveries difficult and dangerous. Many road networks in the hardest hit areas of the country are still not operational, making communities in conflict-areas inaccessible for aid workers.

A recent vulnerability assessment conducted by WFP using mobile phone technology, reaching some of the households in areas inaccessible by teams on the ground, reflected that the deteriorating food security situation is particularly affecting the internally displaced families. Many families are existing on bread, rice and tea. The most common themes mentioned by the people interviewed for the assessment are “high food prices”, “shortages”, “lack of water” and a “deteriorating” situation.

The assessment showed that emergency food security conditions currently prevail in conflict-affected governorates. This phase is one step away from famine levels. Food insecurity is most severe for the country’s 1.3 million internally displaced people.

Shortage of drinking water is a critical issue. The price of water in Sana’a had tripled since the start of the conflict because pumping systems have been hit by the lack of diesel fuel. Water is critical for families to prepare food and has an impact on people keeping livestock, which is very important for livelihoods in the country.

An emergency operation planned to start in September is expected to cost some US$320 million for a period of six months. WFP implores the entire global community to recognize the urgency of the Yemeni crisis, with a specific call to those who have made commitments to expeditiously fulfil their pledges. WFP is grateful to the donors who have financially contributed or pledged support to the Yemen response including the European Commission (ECHO), Germany, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

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

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

View video from Aden and Sana’a here

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Read the latest WFP Food Security Bulletin here
 

For more information please contact: (email: firstname.lastname@wfp.org)
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +201066634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 15218882
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +20106663452
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

 

SANA’A/ADEN - Seeing first-hand the challenges facing millions of people affected by the crisis in Yemen, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, warned that lack of immediate and unhindered access to people who urgently need food assistance and the shortage of funding create the possibility of famine for millions, mostly women and children already hungry in this war-torn country.

647636
08/18/2015 - 12:26

As the World Food Programme marks August 19 as World Humanitarian Day – the 12th anniversary of the tragic deaths of 22 colleagues in the bombing of the United Nations office in Baghdad – we mourn and cherish those members of our own family taken from us. Over the last year, four of our colleagues in South Sudan have disappeared without a trace. We have searched relentlessly for news of their whereabouts, hoping for the best but fearing the worst.  After many months, we must sadly conclude that they are no longer alive.  
 
Our thoughts are with their families. We will remember their dedication, compassion and courage.
 
As we honour the recently fallen, we also pay tribute to the many in WFP and across the humanitarian community selflessly striving day in, day out, to meet the pressing needs of the vulnerable, hungry poor in hotspots around the world. With 80 percent of humanitarian work now in countries and regions affected by conflict, the task of giving life-saving assistance is increasingly, for too many colleagues, life-threatening.
 
Today, too often, feeding the hungry demands unlimited courage and boundless commitment from those on the front line. Humanitarians, including our WFP colleagues, must be fearless. I am honoured to say I work with 14,000 of the bravest, hardest working people on earth. During my tenure as WFP Executive Director, I’ve witnessed their personal sacrifices, shared their tears and personally witnessed the losses. Just a few days ago, I stood in the ruins of a colleague’s home in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.

As securing the access we need to provide impartial assistance becomes increasingly difficult in places like Yemen and South Sudan, more is asked of humanitarian actors than ever before. We thank all those who serve for the inspiration they give all of us every day.
 
 
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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):
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 207 622179, Mob. +254 707 722 104

 

Statement from The Executive Director Ertharin Cousin

647598
08/17/2015 - 09:01

The cash will be given to participating women after they have initiated training through a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Government of Bangladesh initiative that aims to reduce poverty for ‘ultra-poor’ women. The women will also receive 30kg of rice fortified with vitamins and minerals each month while they take part.

“The Government of Bangladesh is working toward the eradication of poverty as a middle-income country,” said Meher Afroze Chumki, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs. “The innovative investment component will improve the lives of the ultra-poor and enhance social safety net interventions within the overall purview of the Government’s National Social Security Strategy.”

The scheme, called the Investment Component of the Vulnerable Group Development, is funded by the Government and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). Beginning in 2015, it will have provided money, food and training to more than 21,000 women and their households by 2018. Including family members, nearly 100,000 people will benefit from the project. Two thousand women in Belkuchi and Chowhali upazilas, Sirajganj district, are already taking part.

“One of the aims of Britain’s development cooperation in Bangladesh is to help the Government get better results for poor and vulnerable people from its substantial social safety net expenditure,” said Graham Gass, Team Leader, Extreme Poverty, DFID. “We are very pleased to support the Vulnerable Group Development reform, and look forward in time to seeing similar changes being introduced into other social protection programmes.”

Christa Räder, WFP Representative in Bangladesh, said that the scheme is quite unique. “So far these types of promotional social safety nets were carried out by NGOs; now the Government has stepped up to implement and also allocated funding from its budget,” she said.

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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_Asia @WFP_media

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Christa Räder, Representative, WFP Bangladesh, Tel. +880-2-918-302-233
Daniel Svanlund, Communications Officer, WFP Bangladesh, Mobile: +880-175-564-2173

 

DHAKA – More than 21,000 women in Bangladesh are to receive a one-time cash grant of 15,000 taka (US$190) to start small businesses, along with food and training in nutrition and business skills.

647585
08/13/2015 - 15:37
Responding to Emergencies

Major funding shortfalls forced the agency to cut food assistance by up to fifty percent.  During her four-day visit, Cousin met with Syrian refugees and government officials, bringing attention to the plight of millions facing extreme hardship as a result of these cuts.

“I met young Syrians who because of the conflict may never realize their incredible potential. This conflict robs them of their education, their childhoods and their dreams,” said Cousin, further stating, “The conflict is pushing families below the poverty line, into desperation.”

“For affected populations in Syria and refugees around the region, WFP food assistance provides stability,” she said. “To provide this assistance, we rely on the generosity of the international community. We simply cannot let them down.”

Since the beginning of the year, WFP has faced critical funding shortages that forced it to reduce the level of the assistance it provides to some 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

Families are taking extreme measures to cope with their difficult circumstances, including removing their children from school so that they can work, incurring large debts and cutting back on the nutritional value and quantity of the food they eat.

Cousin visited Syrian refugees living in makeshift shelters in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and a family living in an overcrowded apartment in Amman, Jordan. Each of those interviewed told heart-wrenching stories about the increasing difficulties experienced in their everyday attempts to manage with ever shrinking resources. They asked Cousin to remind the world about their suffering, their inability to go home and their need for continued assistance from WFP as well as the international community.

Cousin acknowledged the heavy burden host countries carry. She visited shops where refugees benefit from WFP’s electronic voucher programme (e-cards). Through its e-cards, WFP supports over half a million Syrian refugees in Jordan and 770,000 in Lebanon.  The programme has generated income for host communities by injecting over US$1.1 billion into the local economies of the five neighbouring countries. The programme has also created thousands of local jobs in the food retail sector.  

WFP’s regional refugee operation immediately needs US$163 million to continue to support desperate refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq through October.

In 2014, WFP globally received US$5.38 billion in contributions – 27 percent higher than in 2013. This was in response to an unprecedented number of emergencies in places such as Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and the West African countries affected by Ebola. However needs are still rising worldwide, outpacing the available funding.

Watch new Video News Release here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8ZebYvULIM

Download broadcast quality Video News Release and shot list here:
https://www.hightail.com/download/bXBhcmxYTmFqV0JqQThUQw

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

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For more information please contact:
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Beirut, Mob. +2010 15218882 or +96179302252
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +20166634352
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646 525 9982
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

 

BEIRUT – The Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Ertharin Cousin concluded a visit to Jordan and Lebanon on Thursday by calling upon the international community to continue supporting Syrian refugees displaced in neighbouring countries and appealing to the world not to forget this crisis.

647579
08/13/2015 - 11:17
Cash and Vouchers

“WFP is using cash transfers, in areas where banks and markets are functioning, to restore some normalcy to people’s otherwise shattered lives,” said WFP’s Representative in Ukraine Giancarlo Stopponi. “Both cash and food voucher assistance allow people to go to the market and pick the food they prefer and this includes fresh vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy products – items that are not normally included in traditional food ration. It also gives a boost to markets and injects money into the local economy.”

The first round of cash distributions began this week in northern Luhansk region through WFP’s partner Mercy Corps. Each person will receive the equivalent of approximately US$20.50 per month to purchase food. While those receiving the money are free to spend it as they want, given the food security situation in this region it is likely that most of the cash will be spent on food. WFP is providing 140,000 people with either cash transfers or food vouchers.

As the conflict continues, people are experiencing shortages of food and their nutritional status deteriorates. WFP has expanded its emergency operation to provide food assistance – through food distributions, cash transfers and food vouchers – for more than 575,000 people until the end of the year. This includes 20,000 children who will receive locally-purchased supplementary food assistance for a period of six months to prevent a further deterioration of their nutritional status and health. WFP was previously providing food assistance to close to 200,000 people.  

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has affected 5 million people, including at least 1.7 million children. WFP prioritizes the most vulnerable population groups amongst residents, returnees, IDPs and host communities and children at risk of malnutrition.

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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 and @wfp_ukraine

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Deborah Nguyen, WFP/Kiev, Tel. +380 (98) 064 1073
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +20 10 6663 4352
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646 525 9982

 

 

KIEV – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun cash distributions in government controlled areas in Luhansk and Donetsk region to 60,000 people – mostly internally displaced – who have been badly affected by the crisis in Ukraine.

647575
08/12/2015 - 15:27

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Commissioner for Refugees David Kazungu of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), UNHCR Country Representative Neimah Warsame, and WFP acting Country Director Michael Dunford, committing to assist 17,500 refugees and Ugandans in and around the refugee settlements of Rwamwanja and Kyangwali.

The two communities will be supported with land for their use, community infrastructure, modern agricultural technologies, and training in agricultural skills, business skills and post-harvest crop loss reduction. The refugees will continue to receive relief food and other humanitarian support from OPM, WFP, UNHCR and NGO partners, based on verified need.

After the initial challenge of providing refugees with basic needs and services has been met, one of the key objectives is to assist refugees and host communities in becoming self-reliant and to strengthen their socio-economic resilience. This can take many forms, whether it be tending to livestock, cultivating fisheries or, as in this case, agricultural production. The enhanced economic prosperity this brings helps to foster co-operation and peaceful coexistence between refugees and their host communities.

David Kazungu said, “This initiative falls within the Settlement Transformation Agenda (STA), which the Ministry of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees has incorporated into the National Development Plan II. Livelihoods interventions are one of the pillars in the STA. They are geared towards developing resilience of refugees while in asylum, thus addressing the quality of their household livelihoods. While implementing this initiative, we are sensitive to the needs of the host communities. Thirty percent of the 17,500 beneficiaries due to benefit from the initiative will be members of the host communities.

“An economically empowered refugee is beneficial to the national economy and we should work towards this.  I call on the partners in refugee protection and management, nationally and internationally, to equally prioritise availing resources for refugee protection in Africa. The African refugee should not be forgotten because of the many refugee crises around the world,” said Mr. Kazungu.

The joint project will mostly support refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who have lived in Uganda for an extended amount of time, but who are still in need of external assistance in order to become fully self-reliant. The activities are due to begin in October.
 
“This landmark agreement between OPM, UNHCR and WFP will allow thousands of people to fulfil their potential and become the best that they can be,” said Neimah Warsame. “I commend the Government of Uganda for their continued generosity towards refugees. When we collaborate together against the cancers of war and persecution, and manage displacement crises together, we give refugees and their host communities the chance to live in stability, prosperity and peace. Today we plant seeds; tomorrow we reap the harvests of improved food quality and economic affluence at a household level. For Ugandans and refugees alike, more parents will be able to send their kids to school, more will be able to afford their healthcare treatment and medicines, and more families will enjoy the benefits of financial security.”

Michael Dunford said WFP is excited at the opportunity to strengthen the livelihoods and self-reliance of refugees as well as host communities.

“WFP looks forward to using the experiences and practices from agriculture, market support and post-harvest loss reduction programmes elsewhere in Uganda to support refugees and host communities,” Dunford said. “This collaboration builds on the generosity of the Government of Uganda and will provide lasting opportunities for refugees and host communities to increase their incomes, boost their agricultural production and improve access to markets.”

Uganda currently hosts more than 480,000 refugees, around 64 percent of whom reside in nine rural settlements. These refugees rely heavily on external assistance as they begin to make livelihoods off land given to them by OPM to enable them to restart their lives. The time it takes for the refugees to achieve self-reliance depends on the duration of time spent in Uganda and access to productive land as well as the quality of their livelihoods.

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For more information please contact:
David Apollo Kazungu, Commissioner for Refugees, OPM Tel. (office) (cell) +256.772.411.448
Charlie Yaxley, UNHCR/Kampala, Tel. (office) +256 (0) 776 720 045 or at yaxley@unhcr.org
Lydia Wamala, WFP/Kampala, Tel. (office) +256 312.242.408 or (cell) +256 772.287.034

 

KAMPALA – Refugees and members of host communities are set to benefit after a landmark deal was signed between the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) that will bring greater economic prosperity and enhanced self-reliance to thousands of farmers.

647570
08/12/2015 - 10:55

“I met Khaldiyeh, a single mother of eight who is struggling to feed her children and says she could be evicted at any moment because the little money she has, she spends on food for her family,” said Cousin. “I also met a group of boys who have big dreams that they will not be able fulfil unless they can go to back to school. Now they are working to help feed their families.”

The visit comes at a time when WFP has reduced the level of assistance it provides to nearly half a million Syrian refugees living outside of camps in Jordan, due to a severe lack of funding.  

The cuts in the value of voucher assistance, combined with reductions in support from other humanitarian agencies, have had a negative impact on the food security of the majority of refugees. Many have taken drastic measures such as taking their children out of school to send them to work and incurring debilitating levels of debt.  “We are calling upon the donor community to recognize the suffering of our Syrian brothers and sisters and to continue to give generously so we can support desperate families until they can go home,” said Cousin. “We need those who have given to give more, and those who haven’t given to invest in our work and in the future of Syria.”

During the visit, Cousin visited a Syrian refugee family living in the Hashemi Al-Shemali district of Amman, where they told her how difficult it has become to cope with such limited resources. She also met with a group of Syrian and Jordanian young people at a Save the Children youth centre, where she had a chance to listen to them discuss their hopes and aspirations as well as the obstacles they face on a daily basis.

Cousin voiced her appreciation for Jordan’s generosity in hosting Syrian refugees and she recognized the national initiatives that aim to encourage social cohesion among local and refugee communities. She emphasized the importance of bolstering international support to Jordan so that the Kingdom can continue to play a crucial humanitarian role.

WFP needs US$45 million to continue providing this vital food assistance to over half a million Syrian refugees living in Jordan until the end of the year.

Through its electronic voucher programme, WFP supports over half a million Syrian refugees in Jordan.  In this way WFP has injected over US$396 million (JOD 280 million) into the local economy and created over 400 jobs in the food retail sector.

WFP also aims to support 160,000 vulnerable Jordanians through cash and food assistance as well as 340,000 school children through a school-feeding programme in Jordan’s most impoverished areas.

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

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

For more information please contact:
Shada Moghraby, WFP/Amman, Mob. +962797280924
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +2010 15218882
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646 525 9982

 

AMMAN - Concerned by the deteriorating conditions of Syrian refugees in Jordan, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, has concluded a visit to the Kingdom, during which she met Syrian families and heard the hopes and fears of young people.