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Russian Federation makes first ever donation to UN food agency

Russian Federation makes first ever donation to UN food agency

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today hailed its first ever donation from the Russian Federation, an $11 million contribution to its under-funded emergency operations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Angola.

"This is a truly historic development. With this substantial pledge, [Russia] is giving life-saving assistance to millions of hungry people in two of the neediest countries on the planet," WFP Executive Director James Morris said in a statement in Rome.

"We are delighted to welcome one of the world's great nations into our family of donors, and look forward to developing a long-term partnership," he added.

Russia is providing $10 million for WFP's 2003 emergency operation in the DPRK, which is designed to feed 6.4 million of the crisis-ridden country's most vulnerable, mainly children, women and the elderly. The funds are to be used to purchase some 40,000 tons of Russian wheat, with deliveries beginning in August.

The rest will be used to purchase Russian commodities for Angola, where WFP assists an average of 1.5 million people, including demobilized soldiers and their families, as well as the internally displaced who were cut off from humanitarian assistance during the country's civil war.