Colombia and UN food agency join forces to help over half a million displaced

14 February 2008

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a $157 million joint operation with the Colombian Government to provide food and other humanitarian assistance to more than 530,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the South American country over the next three years.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a $157 million joint operation with the Colombian Government to provide food and other humanitarian assistance to more than 530,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the South American country over the next three years.

Starting in April, the programme will provide assistance through a series of projects, including school feeding, food for training, food for work and food assistance for both vulnerable communities at high risk of displacement and for host communities for IDPs.

WFP is already helping over 500,000 people across Colombia each year, drawing on its network of 10 field offices to support families and individuals who been forced to flee their homes because of long-running fighting between Government forces, rebels and paramilitary groups or attacks against civilians by armed groups.

The agency said in a press statement issued in Bogotá today that the new programme will be the largest international cooperation scheme for IDPs ever developed by a UN agency in Colombia.

Praveen Agrawal, the agency’s country director in Colombia, said “the unanimous support for the implementation of these activities is not only the result of the excellent relationship between WFP and the Colombian Government, but also testament to the positive results WFP has achieved in the country during the last few years.”

To finance the programme WFP will appeal to international donors for $93 million and the Colombian Government has pledged to contribute $64 million.

 

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