WFP has welcomed US government contributions in September totaling US$110.7 million for the hungry poor in 11 countries from Latin America to Asia. Nearly half the resources were targeted to Sudan, home to WFP’s single-largest operation in the world.
“These contributions, which represent the first of the US government’s new fiscal year, set a welcome precedent for donors and send a message of hope to vulnerable populations throughout the world,” said Jordan Dey, Director of US Relations for WFP.
“With our global challenges only increasing – from violence in Darfur, to HIV/AIDS, to increasing costs for commodities – persistent, strong engagement from the international community is critical to helping reduce pervasive hunger and poverty.”
The September contributions, provided by the US Agency for International Development’s Food for Peace programme, will be utilised in Fiscal Year 2008. In fiscal year 2007, the US government contributed a total of US$1.018 billion to WFP operations around the world.
The largest new contribution of the month, US$50 million, will aid emergency and recovery programs in Sudan. WFP assistance focuses on both the ongoing humanitarian crisis in violence-torn Darfur, where it feeds some 3 million people a month, and other regions of Sudan that are still recovering from long years of civil conflict.
In 2007, WFP is assisting a total of 5.5 million people throughout Sudan.
In Uganda, a US$18.8 million donation will provide widespread assistance to refugees from neighbouring countries and internally displaced people from the violence in northern Uganda.
One of the poorest countries in the world, Uganda is still confronting a difficult legacy of civil conflict, as well as persistent natural disasters, including the recent massive flooding that severely affected another 300,000 people.
Somalia, reeling from 16 years of conflict and recurring cycles of drought and floods, receives US$11.5 million to help the most vulnerable populations, including hundreds of thousands of people displaced by violence amid deteriorating health conditions.
Meanwhile, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, armed conflicts continue to disrupt food production in the east, displacing rural populations, with armed groups often burning fields and food stocks. The US$11.5 million donation will assist over a million households affected by the conflict.
The US contribution of US$7.7 million to WFP in Chad will provide critical assistance to Sudanese refugees and Chadians displaced by violence at the eastern border with Sudan.
Support will also go to local communities in Chad, who are facing major strains on cropland, pasture and water resources in the already-fragile Sahara-Sahel environment.
Pastoralists and small farmers
In Kenya, US$6.1 million will bring emergency food aid to 1.3 million pastoralists and small farmers in drought- and flood-affected areas of Kenya, addressing the chronic food insecurity of these groups.
A contribution of US$1.9 million for Pakistan will aid families affected by a cyclone and subsequent flash floods that devastated southern regions.
About 1.5 million people were affected by the crisis, which caused significant loss of livestock and debilitating price increases for food and fuel.
A US$1.6 million donation to Colombia will assist internally displaced people (IDPs) throughout the country. Forty years of conflict have created the largest IDP population in the Western Hemisphere, whose plight is compounded by extreme poverty.
In Burkina Faso, where more than 45 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, WFP will utilise US$1.1 million in US funding to help reverse rising rates of chronic and acute malnutrition.
In Yemen, a US$370,400 donation will support vulnerable groups displaced by the resumption of violent disturbances in Saa’da region in the north of the country.
A US$135,600 donation for WFP operations in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic with a per capita GDP of only US$350, will be used to enable food insecure populations in rural areas to cope with recurrent natural disasters that include earthquakes, landslides and avalanches.