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Major US donations welcomed for hungry poor in Africa and Asia

WFP hs welcomed major US government contributions for August totaling US$69 million, aimed at feeding people in seven countries confronting humanitarian challenges ranging from severe drought to civil conflict.

WFP hs welcomed major US government contributions for August totalling US$69 million, aimed at feeding people in seven countries confronting humanitarian challenges ranging

The United States government has extended its generosity to people in Africa and Asia who desperately need assistance in situations of conflict, recurring severe drought and grinding poverty
Jordan Dey, Director of US Relations for WFP

from severe drought to civil conflict.

The latest donations, from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), bring total American contributions to WFP operations for the fiscal year to US$905 million. The United States is WFP’s single largest donor.

Slated to receive more than half the donations are Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Kenya, where failed harvests and harsh weather have compounded the burdens of poor families, tipping them into crisis.

The other recipient programmes - in Sri Lanka, Chad, Tanzania, Uganda and again in Kenya - will receive resources targeting refugees and internally displaced communities, with additional support to the surrounding local communities.

Generosity

“The United States government has extended its generosity to people in Africa and Asia who desperately need assistance in situations of conflict, recurring severe drought and grinding poverty,” said Jordan Dey, Director of US Relations for WFP.

“These donations, to refugees and other food-insecure populations, allow WFP and its humanitarian partners to continue life-sustaining work,” he said.

The US contribution of US$22 million for Zimbabwe will provide short-term relief to more than 1.9 million residents affected by the poor harvest and worsening economic situation.

Refugees

Kenya will receive US$13.1 million from the US, roughly half of it for Sudanese and Somali refugees who fled conflict in their home countries.

The majority of refugees have no means to support themselves and rely on international food aid to survive. The other half of the US donation to Kenya is aimed at pastoral and farming populations who lost livestock and other assets during the severe drought of 2005-6.

Also in August, WFP received US$14.1 million for Ethiopia, where it assists 4.9 million people seeking to rebuild their assets and livelihoods in a landscape of recurring natural disaster.

Displaced

In Sri Lanka, a US$8.3 million donation will fund a multidimensional program, which provides support to internally displaced individuals and resettling families facing increasing violence amid ethnic tensions. Many of these vulnerable groups are still battling back from the effects of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

A US$4.4 million donation to Chad, the fifth-poorest nation in the world, will assist refugees from Sudan and internally displaced in eastern Chad.

Support will also go to local communities, facing major strains on cropland, pasture and water resources in the already-fragile Sahara-Sahel environment due to massive spillover of people fleeing conflict in neighboring Darfur in Sudan.

Tanzania, meanwhile, will receive US$3.5 million to assist refugees living in seven camps in the northwest, as well as other vulnerable people within the host communities. Niger will utilise a US$1.9 million donation to assist malnourished children under five and malnourished pregnant and lactating women.

High malnutrition

In addition to being the lowest ranked country on UNDP's Human Development Index, Niger continues to suffer from high levels of malnutrition.

A total of 11.1 percent of children under five and 15.5 percent of children under three suffer from acute malnutrition. This contribution comes just in time to avoid a gap in resources and will ensure a continuation of nutritional activities.

In Uganda, nearly 1.4 million refugees and internally displaced people from conflicts in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Sudan and northern Uganda will receive assistance from the US$1.1 million US contribution.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where persistent violence has disrupted food production and displaced many rural populations, a US$688,000 donation will benefit victims of the armed conflict and other vulnerable groups.

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