UK commits $15m to WFP in Afghanistan
KABUL (PAN): The United Kingdom’s development agency, the Department for International Development (DFID), has committed 10 million British Pounds (over $15 million) to the World Food Programme (WFP) aiming to reach some 2.4 million Afghans with food assistance this year.
The donation would enable WFP to reach up to 535,000 people with 17,000 metric tons of food, including wheat and wheat flour, pulses such as split peas and salt, the agency said in a statement.
The items are being distributed in emergencies to victims of conflict and natural disasters, as well as helping WFP implement projects to prevent and treat acute malnutrition, it said, adding the distribution is already underway in parts of Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province.
“This programme will provide a lifeline to the most vulnerable and acutely malnourished people in the country, in communities where food security is uncertain,” DFID Afghanistan Head of Office, Mark Mallalieu, said on a visit to the distribution centre in Kabul.
“Ending hunger and undernutrition will go hand in hand with the work DFID, and the international community, is doing to support the self-sufficient long-term future of Afghanistan.”
WFP deputy country director John Prout said humanitarian needs remained enormous in Afghanistan. “One-third of the population is food-insecure, and about two out of three children under the age of five are stunted due to malnutrition,” he said.
He said conflict and natural disasters exacerbated the situation for people living on the threshold of acute malnutrition. “This donation is helping WFP to respond to urgent needs where it matters most.”
The donation comes in the context of the UK’s renewed commitment to addressing global hunger, a topic which will be under discussion at today’s G8 summit in the UK.
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