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Official statements announcing key developments in WFP operations and activities.
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649968
06/30/2016 - 13:44

ROME- Urgent action by the international community and governments in the Dry Corridor of Central America is essential to help build resilience, food security, and restore livelihoods damaged by drought and other extreme-weather effects of El Niño, United Nations leaders said today.

The devastating El Niño event that began in 2015 was one of the worst on record and its impact continues to be felt in the Dry Corridor, compounding the damage from two consecutive years of drought. As a result, some 3.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance with 1.6 million moderately or severely food insecure in the hard-hit countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

To raise awareness and coordinate responses to both the protracted El Niño-related crises in the Dry Corridor and the possibility of a related La Niña event in the second half of 2016, UN agencies and other partners met today at the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The meeting included the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP), with the aim of mobilizing the international community to support the efforts of governments, UN agencies and other partners.

Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Nutrition of Guatemala, Mario Méndez, Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock of Honduras, Jacobo Paz Bodden, and Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of El Salvador, Hugo Flores, joined the meeting which concluded with a  communiqué that stressed common challenges within the Dry Corridor, including adaptation of the production systems of small-scale family farmers to climate change; and expanding efforts to reduce poverty, inequality and the socioeconomic and environmental vulnerability of the region.

In opening remarks, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva stressed that "the challenge facing the Dry Corridor is not only climate change: it is also extreme poverty, and food and nutritional insecurity," adding: "We need to change the traditional response strategy and tackle the structural causes of poverty and food insecurity in Central America's Dry Corridor, and not settle for simply mounting a humanitarian response every time an emergency situation occurs.""We need to a focus on resilience, inclusive sustainable development, and climate change adaptation," the FAO Director-General added.

He also noted that the strategic alliance between the Rome-based UN organizations (FAO, IFAD, WFP) as well as South-South Cooperation efforts will be fundamental to eradicating hunger and poverty in Central America's Dry Corridor, however, the scale of the challenge requires the support of the entire international community.
IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze said: "It is crucial to respond to the immediate needs of people suffering as a result of El Niño. But we also need to acknowledge that climate change will continue to exacerbate these extreme weather events. The only way to ensure future food security in the region is to invest in long-term development to help people be more resilient to shocks so that they can continue to feed their families."Coordinated action between agencies and partners to build resilience among the vulnerable people of the Dry Corridor will save lives while working to eliminate food insecurity, said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin."Together, we must not only eliminate poverty but also pre-emptively address the extraordinary level of social, economic, and environmental susceptibility experienced by vulnerable  people living in the Dry Corridor - all of which contribute to food insecurity," Cousin added.

"Data and experience clearly demonstrate that the costs of emergency response and rehabilitation after a disaster occurs substantially exceed the price tag for risk reduction and mitigation action taken before disaster strikes."   

El Niño and La Niña events, more frequent and more severe

Some 10.5 million people, about 60 percent of whom are in poverty, live in the Dry Corridor, a region characterized by extensive deforestation, soil degradation and water scarcity.

These conditions are exacerbated by El Niño and its counterpart La Niña which occur cyclically. However, in recent years extreme weather events associated with these two phenomena, such as droughts and floods, have increased in frequency and severity, mainly due to the effects of global climate change,
Social and economic inclusion

The communiqué of today's meeting stresses the need to ensure social and economic inclusion of vulnerable communities while increasing and diversifying income opportunities, changes that will, in turn, reduce high levels of migration. The communiqué also underscores the importance of boosting public and private investment as well as technical and financial cooperation to target entrepreneurship programmes and job creation for rural women and young people. This could include improving the provision of water, and sanitation, health, education, roads, electrification and better access to credit, technology and markets.

Working in partnership

FAO's work

In the Dry Corridor area of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, FAO is supporting small-scale producers and rural communities that are highly vulnerable to extreme natural hazards, such as recurrent droughts, excessive rains and severe flooding.  

With the goal of reducing the impact of extreme climate events, FAO's work in the region involves strengthening the disaster risk management capacities of national and local authorities and setting up information and early warning systems. Good practices and technologies are promoted by, for example, providing seeds for short-cycle and drought-resistant crops, establishing water harvesting systems and community contingency funds and supporting agroforestry.

In addition, the Central American Development Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and FAO today agreed they would work jointly to promote investments that contribute to reducing rural poverty and promoting socio-economic development and Central American integration, as well as supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation policies and measures in the Dry Corridor countries.

Initial areas of focus include: the Dry Corridor:  land restoration and integrated approaches to land use; mountain and sustainable forest management; public-private partnerships and market access. Other potential areas of collaboration between CABEI and FAO are innovative and integrated forest and land management approaches.

IFAD's work

IFAD currently supports a wide range of projects in the Dry Corridor areas of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua which are helping poor, small-scale farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change and increase their resilience to extreme weather events. In El Salvador, for example, farmers are being introduced to soil and water conservation methods as well as cultivation techniques better-suited to dry regions.

IFAD-supported projects in Dry Corridor countries are also involved in constructing water harvesting structures, generating up-to-date information and research that helps forecast climate risk and vulnerability, and helping farmers with basic household improvements such as building energy-efficient stoves and low-flow latrines. Believing that investments in long-term resilience can reduce the impact and cost of disasters, IFAD is actively involved in policy dialogue with governments and decision-makers in the region.

WFP's work

WFP provided assistance to 1 million people annually in 2014 and 2015 in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, primarily through cash-based transfers. WFP has prioritized assistance to an anticipated 600,000 severely food insecure households until the end of August 2016, especially those expecting just one harvest rather than the usual two.

WFP has supported national relief responses and recovery efforts from the effects of the drought in the Dry Corridor of Central America exacerbated by El Niño, especially during the last part of 2015. Immediate support was provided to drought-affected food-insecure populations and facilitated their recovery through asset creation and training, with a view to laying the foundation for a transition to resilience-building through WFP programmes and capacity development activities at the regional and country levels.

More specifically: In drought-damaged communities in Honduras, WFP is delivering 170 tonnes of Super Cereal Plus, a supplementary and nutritious food enriched with protein, vitamins and minerals, to assist children aged under five who are at risk of malnutrition. As of April 2016, more than 9,200 children in 44 municipalities and five departments received distributions.

In Guatemala, WFP is working with the government to provide conditional food assistance in return to assets creation to facilitate emergency response planning, Participants include: small farmers or seasonal workers without food reserves; households relying on agriculture as their main income, and households with more than 50-75 percent of staple grains losses.

Contacts

Peter Mayer, FAO
(+39) 06 570 53304
peter.mayer@fao.org

Joane Levitan, IFAD
(+39) 06 54592509
(+39) 366 5620977
j.levitan@ifad.org

Frances Kennedy, WFP
+39 06 6513 3725
+39 346 7600806
frances.kennedy@wfp.org

 

UN meeting urges long-term development action for food security, safeguarding livelihoods

649943
06/29/2016 - 11:50

JUBA – Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan – well over one-third of the population – will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country, three UN agencies warned today.
 
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) stressed that while the deteriorating situation coincides with an unusually long and harsh annual lean season, when families have depleted their food stocks and new harvests are not expected until August, the level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released today by the government, the three agencies and other humanitarian partners, 4.8 million people are projected to be in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance through July, up from 4.3 million in April. This is the highest level of hunger since the conflict in South Sudan began two-and-a-half years ago. This number does not include 350,000 residents of the UN Protection of Civilians areas or other camps for displaced people, who currently are entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance.
 
“We are very worried to see that food insecurity is spreading beyond conflict areas as rising prices, impassable roads and dysfunctional markets are preventing many families, even those in towns and cities, from accessing food,” said FAO Country Representative Serge Tissot.

Food insecurity and conflict are also forcing many families to leave South Sudan for neighbouring countries. In the last few months alone, an estimated 100,000 South Sudanese people have crossed into Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and this number is expected to increase to more than 150,000 by the end of June.
 
“The levels of malnutrition among children continue to be truly alarming,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “Since the beginning of the year more than

100,000 children have been treated for severe malnutrition. That’s a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, and a 150 percent increase since 2014.”   

Working with a large number of international and local non-governmental organizations, FAO, UNICEF and WFP will continue to deliver life- and livelihood- saving support under these difficult circumstances.

“We are now seeing sharp spikes of need in new areas, such as Eastern Equatoria or Western Bahr el-Ghazal, where malnutrition rates in some places are reaching dangerous levels. We have started ramping up food and nutrition support, but much more is needed to keep things from deteriorating even further during the lean season,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma.

In 2016, FAO is planning to provide emergency livelihood support to 3.1 million people in South Sudan. It is currently distributing over half a million crop and fishing kits and is assisting livestock production through the vaccination of some 11 million animals.

The dramatic rise in malnutrition rates, means that in the first four months of the year UNICEF has already treated 45 per cent of its planned 2016 caseload of 166,000 children.   
WFP plans to assist  3.3 million people in South Sudan this year through a combination of emergency food assistance, lifesaving nutrition support for mothers and young children, community-based asset-creation projects where possible, and safety net programmes such as school meals.

#  #  #

About FAO
FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people. For more information visit: www.fao.org or follow FAO on Twitter @FAOnews @FAOSouthSudan

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 or 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:
Lieke Visser, FAO/Juba: +211(0)922001661, lieke.visser@fao.org
Peter Mayer, FAO/Rome +39 06 570 53304, peter.mayer@fao.org
George Fominyen, WFP/Juba, Mob. +211 922 465 247 george.fominyen@wfp.org
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, +254 707 722 104 challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org
Tim Irwin, UNICEF/Juba:  +211 (0) 912162888,   tjirwin@unicef.org  
Mercy Kolok, UNICEF/Juba, +211 (0) 955 639 658;  Email: mkolok@unicef.org

 

More than a third of the population in urgent need of food, agriculture and nutrition assistance amid risk of catastrophe in some parts of the country

649936
06/28/2016 - 11:45

Thanks to the German contribution, treatment will be provided to nearly 292,000 moderately malnourished children under five years old and 204,000 malnourished pregnant and nursing mothers. Some 170,000 children under two years old, who are at risk of malnutrition, will receive preventive assistance.

A report published this month, shows that the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is at an alarming stage in most Yemeni governorates. The report – Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) – classified nine out of Yemen’s 22 governorates as facing food insecurity at ‘Emergency’ level. This is a level of need that is one step away from famine and requires urgent food assistance.

“WFP is grateful for Germany’s significant donation, which is critical to ensuring that WFP continues to support women and children at risk of malnutrition,” said WFP Country Director in Yemen Purnima Kashyap. “Child malnutrition rates in Yemen have already been among the highest in the world even before the conflict. Around half of all children under five are stunted – too short for their age – as a result of malnutrition; the consequences of which are irreversible. Providing treatment and preventing malnutrition saves an entire generation and improves the country’s future prospects.”

Working in cooperation with 14 partners, WFP prioritizes 14 governorates across Yemen for nutrition interventions including all those at the “Emergency” level of hunger.

Germany has been consistently among top donors to WFP Yemen. The recent contribution is essential to provide continuous and substantial assistance, to fight food insecurity and malnutrition, and to reduce families’ vulnerability to future shocks.

#                              #                                 #

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_MENA

For more information please contact:
Intisar AlQsar, WFP/Sana’a, Mob. +962791295742
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +2010 66634352
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2610, Mob. +20 0166634522
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

 

SANA’A – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of €15 million (approximately US$16.9 million) from the Federal Republic of Germany to help WFP treat and prevent moderate malnutrition among more than 660,000 children under five, and pregnant and nursing mothers.

649931
06/27/2016 - 14:10
RBA

Before the conflict in Syria, Tartous farmers grew up to 1 million tons of tomatoes yearly for local consumption and export. However, many lost their farming capacity due to the crisis in Syria since 2011 that has forced over 9 million people into food insecurity.

FAO and WFP, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Directorate of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, jointly launched a programme in early 2016 to restore agriculture-based livelihoods by rebuilding damaged greenhouses and providing tomato seeds and irrigation systems to the worst-affected farmers in Tartous governorate.
“This programme is rebuilding greenhouses as well as the resilience of thousands of Syrian farmers and displaced people who lost their sources of income,” said Abdirahman Meygag, WFP Syria Deputy Country Director. “It also has the added benefit of enabling, strengthening and protecting communities by improving their livelihoods and boosting the production of nutritious foods and people’s access to them.”

WFP is providing plastic sheeting to restore damaged green houses in addition to food rations containing staple food items, including lentils, rice and cooking oil, to help farmers and displaced families get through the lean season before the harvest is complete.

FAO has provided essential technical assistance and training to 2,000 affected farmers as well as tomato seeds and irrigation kits. The greenhouse production system created employment opportunities for more than 6,000 seasonal workers including internally displaced people.

“This is a crisis within a crisis with a huge impact on the food and nutrition security of displaced people and their host communities. FAO has been working with stakeholders in order to enable the affected farmers to play their most important role of producing food. The next step will be to work on post-harvest of tomatoes produced by the farmers to increase farmers’ income and revenue for improved livelihoods,” said FAO’s Syria Deputy Representative, Adam Yao. “The farmers’ community benefiting from this programme has adapted because they can now grow their own food and they have transformed from the shock because they are now selling their harvest and relying on themselves.”

A severe winter storm in 2015 caused extensive damage to farmers’ crops and destroyed half of the greenhouses in the governorate resulting in a major deficit in agricultural production and the loss of thousands of farmers’ livelihoods. It also meant that displaced families working on farms were unable to find work.
The programme supports 15,000 people including food insecure farmers, internally displaced people mainly from Aleppo who rely on the agriculture sector to find work as well as the local community in Tartous governorate.

Across Syria, WFP provides life-saving food assistance every month to 4 million people affected by the crisis. Since 2011 FAO’s support in Syria in the sectors of food and livestock productions, training and capacity building reached more than 340,000 households to strengthen the food and nutrition security of more than 2 million people in Syria.

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About FAO
For the past 70 years, FAO was leading international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people. For more information visit: www.fao.org or follow FAO on Twitter @FAOnews.

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 visit: www.wfp.org or follow WFP on Twitter @WFP_Media and @WFP_MENA.
For more information please contact:

WFP Contacts

Abeer Etefa (abeer.etefa@wfp.org)
Mobile: +2010 66634352
WFP Senior Regional Spokesperson, Cairo, Egypt

Dina El-Kassaby (dina.elkassaby@wfp.org)
Mobile: +201015218882
Regional Spokesperson, Cairo, Egypt

FAO Contacts

Eriko Hibi (Eriko.hibi@fao.org)
Mobile : +9639332120258
FAO Representative, Damascus,  Syria

Adam Yao (adam.yao@fao.org)
Mobile: +963988115783
FAO Deputy Representative, Damascus, Syria

Mariam Hassanien (Mariam.Hassanien@fao.org)
Mobile: + 201007335492
FAO Regional Communication Office, Cairo, Egypt

Video links:

Download here

DAMASCUS – Syrian farmers in the country’s western coastal governorate of Tartous, formerly among the world’s top producers of tomatoes, have started their first tomato harvest of the year with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

649926
06/27/2016 - 11:12
Responding to Emergencies

Through its partners, WFP has so far distributed enough immediate response food rations to feed almost 75,000 newly displaced people arriving at camps in Habbaniya Tourism City and Amariyat al-Fallujah. Each ration contains ready-to-eat food to feed a family for three days.

However in the spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan, other organizations are distributing additional food that complements WFP rations, making it enough to stretch for a full week.

“The people of Fallujah have been suffering under siege for many months without access to food or medical care. Reaching them now with life-saving food and other humanitarian assistance is the absolute top priority,” said Maha Ahmed, WFP Deputy Country Director in Iraq.
 
“The situation is heart breaking. We met a young mother this week who escaped the violence in Fallujah with her new born baby in her arms – he was only 4-days-old when they fled.”

Since military operations to retake the city from ISIL forces began on 22 May, waves of people have fled Fallujha and its surroundings. People are gathering in dozens of small camps where conditions are very harsh and many families are forced to share already overcrowded tents. Others are stranded in the desert or sheltering at mosques and schools.

“We are working with humanitarian partners to ensure comprehensive and rapid relief is provided for affected families, who have already been through too much,” Ahmed added.

WFP is sending additional immediate response food rations and family food rations from its Baghdad warehouse, an hour’s drive from Fallujah, to provide immediate food relief to the growing number of displaced. In partnership with WFP, the Qatar Red Crescent is preparing to provide cooking utensils and additional family food rations to the families from Fallujah.

More than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced by conflict since mid-June last year. WFP provides food assistance to over 1 million vulnerable displaced across all 18 governorates.

WFP is entirely voluntarily funded and relies on support from governments, companies and private individuals to provide food assistance to people in Iraq. To continue to assist displaced families for the next six months, WFP urgently requires a total of US$34 million.

#                              #                                 #

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):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob +201066634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Mob +201015218882
Frances Kennedy, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65133725, Mob. +39 346 7600806
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

 

BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is very concerned about the extremely dire conditions for more than 85,000 people who have fled the besieged city of Fallujah and its surroundings in Iraq’s Anbar governorate over the last month.

649920
06/23/2016 - 14:18

This contribution from Sweden, of SEK 5 million (approximately US$600,000), will allow WFP to continue running a safe and reliable air service to hundreds of humanitarian staff serving vulnerable communities across Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan.  

“UNHAS continues to play a unique role in humanitarian operations across the world through delivering humanitarian cargo and transporting workers to and from affected areas,” said the Swedish Ambassador to Sudan, Mette Sunnergren. “Sweden will continue to support UNHAS in order to support humanitarian logistics in Sudan in 2016.”

In recent months, UNHAS has played a significant role in flying aid workers into locations where people fleeing the conflict in Jebel Marra area have gone.  The air service has ensured that staff were on the ground to conduct a rapid assessment and provide much-needed assistance.  

“We are very grateful to the people and Government of Sweden for this timely contribution that helps us maintain this critical service to the humanitarian community to facilitate our reaching those in urgent need of assistance, wherever they are,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Adnan Khan.

During the first quarter of 2016, UNHAS has made more than 1,150 flights carrying nearly 9,000 passengers and has also performed two medical evacuations.  

In 2015, UNHAS carried 37,129 passengers - half of them UN staff and the remainder mostly NGO staff, in addition to a small number of government officials dealing with humanitarian affairs, donor representatives and diplomats.

Established in Sudan in 2004, UNHAS is run by a steering committee comprising representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and donors, but is directly managed by WFP Sudan. On average, UNHAS transports 3,500 passengers and 20 metric tons of light cargo each month to more than 40 locations in Sudan. It also provides medical and security evacuations when needed.

The humanitarian air service - like WFP, is entirely funded by voluntary contributions - relies on a fleet of five aircraft (two fixed-wing aircraft and three helicopters) based in Khartoum, Nyala, El-Fasher and Geneina. While the fixed-wing aircraft provide air shuttle services from Khartoum to the three Darfur state capitals, the helicopters facilitate humanitarian travel to areas that are inaccessible by road, either due to insecurity or poor road conditions. Other contributors to UNHAS in Sudan include Canada, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Common Humanitarian Fund.

#                              #                                 #

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_mena

For more information please contact:
Amor Almagro, WFP/Khartoum, Tel. +249 183248001 (ext. 2114), Mob. + 249 912174853
Email: amor.almagro@wfp.org
Abdulaziz Abdulmomin, WFP/Khartoum, Tel. +249 183248001 (ext. 2123), Mob. +249 912167055
Email: Abdulaziz.abdulmomin@wfp.org

 

KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution from the Government of Sweden to support the WFP-operated United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Sudan.

649915
06/22/2016 - 14:20

The emergency operation was launched, upon the request of the Egyptian Government, to provide assistance to 60,000 returnees from Libya in the five governorates of Sohag, Menia, Assuit, Qena and Kafr El Sheikh, where the number of people returning from Libya is at its highest.

The monthly food voucher of US$13 gives families a list of essential food items, mainly cereals, oil and pulses, from which they have the freedom to choose from and in any quantities, within the total value of their voucher.

Food vouchers are given with the main purpose of providing immediate support to food-insecure Egyptian returnees. Though the operation will target returnees from Libya, mostly men, their family members will also benefit as vouchers are used to provide food assistance to the entire household. In this context, the total number of beneficiaries from the emergency operation will total up to 300,000 people (returnees and their family members).

“People returning from Libya arrive here with limited or no means of survival and face the challenge of finding employment,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Reginal Director. “Most returnees are low-skilled labourers, usually men from the economically stressed region of Upper Egypt whose villages of origin have few economic prospects,” added Hadi.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Libya hosts around 1.6 million Egyptians, mostly migrant workers.  

In the longer term, WFP will hand over this emergency operation to the Ministry of Manpower and Migration and the Ministry of Social Solidarity, who will continue to provide support as required.

 

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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 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media  @wfp_mena

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Amina Al Korey, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 25281730, Mob. +201028531535

 

 

CAIRO – The World Food Programme (WFP) signed today a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a three month emergency operation to support Egyptian returnees from Libya with much needed food assistance.

 

649911
06/21/2016 - 15:38

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the University of California, Davis. Their findings were just published [link] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the world’s leading scientific journals.

The study measured the local-community impact of food assistance provided by WFP to Congolese refugees living in three camps in Rwanda. Using hundreds of interviews with Rwandan community members, Congolese refugees and local businesses, researchers created a model of the economies within a 10-kilometre radius of each camp, and then compared the data between camps where refugees received monthly cash allocations, and a camp where refugees continued – at the time – to receive monthly distributions of food.

“Our research found that local communities see very real economic benefits from hosting refugee camps, regardless of the type of food assistance refugees received, but it was clear that cash-based food assistance for refugees translates into a larger boost for the people who live near the camps,” said the study’s lead author, J. Edward Taylor, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis.

“Each refugee generates real income for the surrounding community that is larger than the sum of the humanitarian assistance the refugee receives – and if the refugee is receiving cash, the impact of that assistance can nearly double,” he added.

In Kigeme, the camp where refugees were receiving food at the time of the study, researchers found that every dollar’s worth of food for refugees increased real income for the community around Kigeme by US$1.20. In two other camps – Gihembe and Nyabiheke – where refugees received cash transfers each month instead of food, each dollar they received translated into US$1.51 to US$1.95 in the local economy. The study also found a significant increase in the trade between that local 10-kilometre area and the rest of the country.

In the two cash camps, each adult refugee received an annual total of US$120 to US$126 respectively, and the research found that each additional adult refugee in those two camps increased the annual real income in the local area by US$204 and US$253 respectively – equivalent to 63 percent and 96 percent increases created by each refugee in the two camps for the average per capital income of Rwandan households neighbouring on the camps.

“When refugees receive a monthly ration of food supplies, they often sell part of it at below-market prices so they can have a little cash to buy other goods in the market, like fresh fruits or vegetables,” said Ernesto Gonzalez, a co-author of the study who works on cash-related assistance in WFP’s regional bureau in Nairobi. “When refugees receive cash instead, it not only gives them more control and choice over what they eat, but also increases their purchasing power, and therefore increases the strength of their contribution to the local economy.”

The agricultural and market conditions differ somewhat in the three camps studied, so the researchers found that assistance for refugees had a significantly different degree of impact in each area. In general, communities with a more developed agricultural sector benefitted more because farmers were more easily able to sell their produce to meet market demand. After the surveys were conducted last year, WFP switched to providing cash instead of food for refugees in Kigeme camp, and the researchers hope to conduct a follow-up study to measure the impact of that change.

“This research is vital because it is the first time we’ve been able to quantify the degree to which assistance for refugees also equals economic support and development for the communities and nations who host them,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “Too often, people talk about refugees as a burden or a threat, but this study indicates that hosting refugees can economically benefit a community, and that assistance for refugees makes a concrete difference in peoples’ lives – including those who aren’t directly receiving that assistance.”

Rwanda currently hosts more than 150,000 refugees in five refugee camps. The research was conducted in three camps in southern Rwanda – Gihembe, Kigeme and Nyabiheke.

In Rwanda, and in many other countries, WFP provides more and more assistance in cash alongside the more traditional methods of delivering food supplies. These innovative cash-based transfers – which in different contexts can include physical cash, mobile money, SMS payments or food vouchers – enable WFP to respond faster to the needs of the people it serves.

They bring flexibility and agility to traditional assistance, using the latest technology available. However, providing in-kind food assistance continues to be needed in some contexts, when markets are not functioning or local food supplies are inadequate. WFP’s decision about which form of assistance to use – food, cash, or both -- relies very much on the local context and the presence of a well-functioning market.

The study accounts for the economic impact of the assistance that refugees receive. It does not, however, measure a unique feature of WFP’s assistance programmes in Rwanda, which is the extensive amount of food that WFP purchases locally. More than 80 percent of the maize and beans that WFP distributes in Rwanda – including the food provided to refugees in camps that are not yet receiving cash transfers – was grown by Rwandan farmers.

The study published this week in PNAS was based on detailed economic surveys of a random sample of refugee households and a number of formal businesses in each camp, as well as host-country households and businesses within a 10-kilometre radius of each camp to capture the main markets in which refugees transact.

It was carried out in the summer of 2015, and focused in particular on how refugee camp economies interact with surrounding host-country economies and what are the local economic impacts of alternative food aid delivery mechanisms, specifically in-kind versus cash aid distribution.

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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):
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi: +254 707 722 104, challiss.mcdonough@wfp.org
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Mob. +201066634352
Bettina Luescher, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. + 41-79-842-8057
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

 

NAIROBI – A new study conducted in Rwanda has found that humanitarian assistance for refugees has a positive impact on the economies of surrounding host communities, and this impact is significantly greater when refugees receive cash transfers rather than food rations to meet their monthly food needs.

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06/21/2016 - 10:19

ROME/SANA'A - Vast swathes of Yemen – 19 out of 22 governorates – are facing severe food insecurity according to a new joint assessment by the UN and partners, which warns that the situation within affected areas is likely to deteriorate if conflict persists.

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis confirms that over half the country’s population is living in “crisis” or “emergency” levels of food insecurity, with some governorates seeing as much as 70 percent of their population struggling to feed themselves.

At least 7 million people – a quarter of the population – are living under Emergency levels of food insecurity (Phase 4 on the five-tiered IPC scale). This reflects a 15-percent increase since June 2015. A further 7.1 million people are in a state of Crisis (Phase 3).
“The IPC results clearly show the huge magnitude of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” said Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “This is one of the worst crises in the world and is continuing to get worse. Conflict has taken a very heavy toll on the country and its people, exacerbated widespread vulnerability and virtually destroyed household coping mechanisms. As a result, food insecurity, remains unacceptably high.”
Major drivers of food insecurity include fuel shortages and import restrictions that have reduced availability of essential food commodities in the country, which imports some 90 percent of its staple foods. . Food and fuel imports in March 2016 were the lowest since October 2015 and satisfied only 12 percent of the country’s fuel needs.

Domestic prices of wheat, meanwhile, were 12-15 percent higher in May 2016 compared with pre-crisis levels, even though global wheat prices have decreased in recent months.
Shortages of seeds and fertilizers have crippled crop production across Yemen, where around 50 percent of the labour force earns their living from the agriculture sector and related activities.

Two cyclones in November 2015, plus flash floods and locust swarms in April 2016 further plagued already struggling communities, limiting their ability to produce and access food.

“We managed to provide support across the most affected governorates under these challenging conditions, but ongoing conflict, displacement and limited access to farmland and fishing sites continue to cause significant losses to agriculture and threaten farmers’ livelihoods,” stressed FAO’s Yemen Representative Salah El Hajj Hassan. “With access to many staple foods limited through import and transport restrictions, helping communities feed themselves through back-yard farming and small poultry production, among other interventions, is essential now.”

“With the fluidity of the situation and until a political solution is in place, we will continue to see an increase in the number of people struggling to feed themselves and their families and further deterioration in food security across Yemen,” said Purnima Kashyap, WFP Representative and Country Director. “We appeal to all parties to ensure unrestricted access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected people.”
Some 3 million children under the age of 5 and pregnant or nursing women require services to treat or prevent acute malnutrition, the report said citing UNICEF data.

Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is at an alarming stage in most of the country's governorates, reaching levels of 25.1 percent in Taiz Lowland and 21.7 in Al Hodeidah.

The same areas have seen a significant decrease in traditional fishing -- by about 75 percent in Taiz and Al Hodeidah. In other governorates fishing operations have halved compared with 2014.

Under these circumstances, both food and agricultural assistance are critical to saving lives and livelihoods across Yemen.

“From January to 30 April 2016, about 3.6 million people received emergency food assistance, but the overall response is significantly underfunded,” said McGoldrick. “I urgently appeal to donors to increase humanitarian funding so that more food assistance can be delivered to millions of other people in urgent need.”

The joint IPC analysis is the result of weeks of information gathering by a partnership of UN agencies, including UNICEF and WFP, and NGOs under the leadership of the European Union-funded Food Security Information Systems (FSIS) programme and the Food Security Technical Secretariat of the Yemeni government's Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation.

Photo link to download hi-res pictures.

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About FAO
FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger. It helps countries to modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all. FAO focuses special attention on developing rural areas, home to 70 percent of the world's poor and hungry people. For more information visit: www.fao.org or follow FAO on Twitter @FAOnews.

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 80 million people in around 80 countries. For more information visit: www.wfp.org or follow WFP on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_mena

For more information please contact:
Kim-Jenna Jurriaans, FAO Rome Tel (+39) 06 570 54277 KimJenna.Jurriaans@fao.org
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600, Mob. +201066634352 Abeer.Etefa@wfp.org

 

 

Situation expected to deteriorate if fighting continues – over half of the population living in crisis

649899
06/20/2016 - 15:10

“It is inspiring to see such overwhelming support during Ramadan from everyone who has downloaded the app,” said Dominik Heinrich, WFP Lebanon Country Director. “ShareTheMeal is an easy tool people can use to help those in need, whether during Ramadan or at other times of the year when generosity and kindness are of the utmost importance.”

Today, (World Refugee Day), ShareTheMeal has set a new goal to provide food for a full year to 1,500 Syrian refugee children under 12 years old in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

The children being supported live in Bar Elias, the valley’s second largest town that hosts around 30,000 refugees, which includes 9,000 living in informal tented settlements. Similar to the last goal, the children’s parents receive funds transferred to their regular WFP electronic food vouchers. This allows them to choose and buy the foods they want in local shops, so the money is injected into the local economy which also supports host communities. Lebanon hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees per capita and the most in total after Turkey.

ShareTheMeal was launched in November 2015. Since then more than 550,000 users worldwide have provided the equivalent of more than 6.3 million daily food rations to some of the most vulnerable people around the world. The app has won several awards and was named one of the Best Apps of 2015 by Google.

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ShareTheMeal allows smartphone users to share their meals with hungry people via a free iOS and Android app. ShareTheMeal is an initiative of the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator.

Download the app here.
For additional media material, see the press page.
Learn more at www.sharethemeal.org

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, @ShareTheMealorg

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600, Mob. +201066634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2614, Mob. +201015218882
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington DC, Tel. +1 202 653 1149, Mob. +1 202 770 5993

 

ROME – The World Food Programme’s (WFP) ShareTheMeal app reached its goal of providing food for a full year to 1,400 Syrian refugee children in Beirut, Lebanon, in just seven weeks. This was possible in large part because of overwhelming support from 20,000 users who gave at the start of Ramadan through the app’s new Arabic language version.