WFP has welcomed two vessels carrying 7,500 tonnes of rice from the Algerian Government to support Mozambicans affected by the drought.
“WFP is deeply grateful for Algeria’s solidarity with Mozambique,” said WFP Country Director, Angela Van Rynbach, during the handover ceremony at the port of Beira.
“Despite all our efforts, so far WFP has not been able to give food assistance to all the Mozambicans suffering from hunger. But the Algerian rice will contribute to feed more vulnerable people in the south and centre of the country.”
Shipments like this one from Algeria will make it possible to give hope to many more Mozambicans
Angela Van Rynbach, WFP Country Director
The most recent Vulnerability Assessment showed that 800,000 Mozambicans are affected by food insecurity.
In November, WFP supported 200,000 beneficiaries affected by the drought.
“Thanks to donations like the Algerian one, WFP will be able to increase its support to more than half a million people,” Van Rynbach stressed.
“Many of those who will benefit from this donation are affected by HIV/AIDS and chronic food shortages. They live in areas where health and education services are ill-equipped, so their nutritional well-being is easily compromised,” Van Rynbach said.
First line of defence
“Food is the first line of defence in making sure people remain in good health when times are tough, and WFP will ensure this donation supports the most vulnerable people.”
After the bad harvest in the south of the country, the situation has deteriorated even further. All water levels are extremely low.
The prices for maize and other food have risen so much that even in places where food is available, most people cannot afford it.
Some 89,000 tonnes of cereals will be needed to feed up to 800,000 people through to March 2006. Despite the Algeria donation and other donations from the international community, WFP still requires an additional US$7.1 million to feed all the hungry.
“WFP distributes food to very sick or very poor people who can’t fend for themselves,” said Van Rynbach.
“Until now, we were only able to reach one-third of the drought-affected population. Shipments like this one from Algeria will make it possible to give hope to many more Mozambicans, from Maputo up to Tete province. This donation is essential to help the neediest until the next harvest in 2006.”
The Algerian Government’s total donation of rice comes to 24,580 tonnes, of which 10,500 tonnes will be transported to WFP food programmes in Malawi and 6,580 tonnes to Zambia.