UN welcomes South Africa’s $20 million donation for relief operations in region
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed South Africa’s $20 million donation for the agency’s emergency food operation for southern Africa.
The funds will be used by WFP to purchase 100,000 tons of maize in South Africa for distribution to millions of vulnerable people across the region. “This enormous donation comes at a crucial time for WFP’s operations in southern Africa and will undoubtedly help millions of men, women and children cope with food shortages in the months ahead – the most acute period of hunger until the harvest arrives in April-May,” WFP Executive Director James T. Morris said. “It is also encouraging to see South Africa taking a lead role in helping to combat the severe food crisis that is wreaking havoc across the region.”
Today’s announcement follows President Thabo Mbeki’s pledge last year that South Africa would do all it could to help alleviate the current humanitarian crisis in the sub-region. The donation makes South Africa the fifth-largest contributor to WFP’s emergency operation, after the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and Japan.
Already the South African government has greatly aided WFP operations by facilitating the milling of maize in South Africa for distribution in Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
Last year, WFP appealed for $507 million to provide almost one million tons of food aid to millions of vulnerable people in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Following today’s South African donation, the agency has now received confirmed contributions amounting to 85 per cent of its total tonnage requirements.