USAID contribution boosts WFP food assistance
KABUL (Pajhwok): The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has contributed $19 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) in Afghanistan in the first half of the current year, the UN agency said on Sunday.
The contribution was used to support both WFP-led United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and food assistance to vulnerable people. $14 million goes to supporting WFP’s food assistance activities to people affected by conflict and natural disaster in Afghanistan.
According to a statement from WFP, the remaining $5 million goes to enhancing UNHAS aviation support to some 160 humanitarian organisations, serving over 25 destinations.
Claude Jibidar, WFP Country Director for Afghanistan, hoped: “This donation will allow WFP to reach more than 365,000 food insecure people in Afghanistan, including those who are internally displaced. It also allows WFP to work faster and smarter.”
USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith said his agency deeply valued its partnership with WFP in Afghanistan and across the globe in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
“WFP works closely with the Afghan government and national NGOs to ensure that the most vulnerable Afghans affected by recurring natural disasters and on-going conflict receive much needed food and nutrition assistance,” Smith added.
Recognising that access could be challenging due to the complex security environment, USAID praised WFP’s Humanitarian Air Service that enables development and humanitarian stakeholders to safely access programme sites and beneficiaries nationwide.
In 2016, WFP plans to assist up to 3.9 million food-insecure Afghans by providing food or cash to people affected by conflict and natural disasters, as well as additional nutrition support and disaster risk reduction activities.
This year, WFP will be providing food assistance to more than 400,000 internally displaced people, according to the statement.
With a fleet of four aircraft, UNHAS provides a crucial means of transportation to allow humanitarians to get to areas which may not be accessible by road, in a fast, safe and adaptable manner.
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