France boosts WFP emergency response in Afghanistan
A statement released by the WFP said the announcement was formalised at a signing ceremony on Wednesday at the French Embassy in Kabul attended by high-level representatives from the government of France and WFP.
The new contribution from France, the statement hoped would enable WFP to transport and distribute locally procured food items to assist approximately 45,000 people who may be affected by natural or man-made disasters.
“This donation is most welcome not only because it provides life-saving food assistance to people in the critical first 72 hours of an emergency and beyond. It will also help support local farmers and businesses because WFP is purchasing all the food commodities locally, including High Energy Biscuits,” said Claude Jibidar, WFP’s representative and country director in Afghanistan.
WFP would use the funds to purchase wheat from small-scale farmers and farmers’ organisations where possible and High Energy Biscuits produced in a local factory in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad.
Speaking on the occasion, Jean-Michel Marlaud, ambassador of France to Afghanistan, said: “France applauds WFP’s effective and timely response to humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, as shown during the spring floods in 2014 and the flow of refugees from Pakistan.”
But in the future, Marlaud said those disasters would be more often the consequence of global warming: climate change should thus remain a concern of the Afghan authorities as much as support for disaster victims.
Local purchase provides WFP with the fastest, most efficient and reliable means of ensuring a stable food pipeline during an emergency response.
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