Global perspective Human stories

UN food agency signs new accords to provide aid throughout Afghanistan

UN food agency signs new accords to provide aid throughout Afghanistan

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that it has reached new agreements with 19 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working inside Afghanistan, paving the way for the distribution of food throughout the country.

"As all of these NGOs are operational in the rural areas of Afghanistan, WFP will now be able to bypass our logistic hubs in urban areas and go directly to the needy people," agency spokesperson Heather Hill told reporters in Islamabad. She characterized the development as a shift in WFP's logistical strategy enabling the agency to "save time and assist more people."

New agreements with additional NGOs were expected in the coming days "in order to cover as many food insecure areas as possible," she added.

In Islamabad, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar today said his country would do its best to provide temporary care for displaced Afghans and expressed hope that the UN would be able to "mobilize adequate funds for the maintenance of these unfortunate persons for the duration of their stay and then ensure their return to their own country."

Speaking at a flag-raising ceremony on the occasion of UN Day, which marks the Organization's founding, Mr. Sattar signalled his country's strong support for the world body, calling it "the repository of humanity's deepest hopes" for the preservation of international peace and security. "All of us must hope that the community of States will enable the United Nations to discharge its duty effectively," he said.

Pakistan will be the first stop for Lakhdar Brahimi, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Afghanistan, when he begins his visit to the region over the weekend. Today, Mr. Brahimi continued consultations in New York in advance of his mission.