MOSCOW -- The United Nations World Food Programme has signed two agreements with the Russian government to strengthen the existing partnership in the fight against hunger over the next three years.
WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran, who has been visiting Moscow, signed the first agreement with Elena Skrynnik, Minister of Agriculture - and the second with the Minister of Emergency Situations, Sergei Shoigu. Russia will also assist with providing school meals to children in Armenia. Read Voice of Russia news story
“These agreements will deepen our partnership on many fronts. Russia’s generosity in sharing her bountiful harvests with the hungry poor, especially in neighbouring countries, is extremely welcome,” said Sheeran. She noted that Russia had contributed $26.8 million to WFP’s global operations in 2009 - with donations totalling $110 million since 2003.
“We appreciate Russia’s growing role in tackling hunger. Last year, as chair of our Executive Board, Russia skilfully steered discussions on WFP programmes, and organised the World Grain Forum in St Petersburg. Last summer, at the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, the Russians helped ensure that hunger was high on the agenda - culminating in the leaders’ pledge of $20 billion towards global food security”
During her visit to Russia, Josette Sheeran announced the launch of a new website in the Russian language (see http://ru.wfp.org/ )
“This site is in answer to the many requests we have from the Russian people for online information on the global battle to defeat hunger,” she said. “The launch of this new site means that the Russian people will be able to follow our work and donate online to help us fight hunger. It is a winnable battle - especially with the backing of strong governments and determined, big-hearted people.”
Sheeran said that Russia had great potential to assist WFP - not only thanks to her plentiful stocks of grain, but also regarding her expertise in handling emergencies. Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry has often been among the first to respond to recent earthquakes in Pakistan, Haiti and now in Chile.