The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it has received a $90 million donation from the United States which, combined with other recent contributions, will help prevent a reduction in food aid to millions of people affected by the recent catastrophic floods in Pakistan.
“With these funds behind us, we can ensure an uninterrupted flow of food assistance to the hungriest and the most vulnerable in Pakistan, especially young children,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.
“This donation comes at a critical time as WFP is transitioning from emergency food distributions, towards helping communities rebuild the lives they lost before the floods,” she said.
The US contribution – divided equally into $45 million in cash as well as in-kind food aid worth $45 million consisting of wheat flour, vegetable oil and dried peas – will be used to provide food assistance to more than 7 million flood-affected people, according to WFP.
“This donation, along with others, will buy us more time,” Ms. Sheeran said. “We had genuine concerns that we would have to cut rations for hungry people if we could not mobilise more funds. With this wave of support, we now have some breathing space at least until the New Year,” she added.
WFP is providing life-saving rations to some 1.7 million people who cannot return to inundated villages in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.
More than 5 million people who have already gone back home are also receiving rations and seeds from the Government and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) so that they can plant and have an harvest in April. WFP is also providing food as compensation for work to rebuild infrastructure that was damaged by the floods.
The health and nutritional needs of young children is a priority and the agency is supplying highly nutritious ready-to-eat supplementary food for youngsters.
WFP has also been pre-positioning food supplies in northern areas ahead of the cold winter months when snow can cut off access to communities.