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WORLD STEPS UP TO CHALLENGE OF HELPING HUNGRY PEOPLE OF HORN OF AFRICA

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NAIROBI – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a surge in donations from governments, companies and individuals as it scales up operations and assistance to those affected by drought and famine.

Over recent days, WFP has received pledges of over US$250 million from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, Monaco, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the UN Central Emergency Fund (CERF) and the United States. This is in addition to funds already received from many countries before the crisis was declared a famine, including Denmark, Finland, Kenya, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sudan and Switzerland.“We are seeing the world coming together to help curb rising levels of hunger and malnutrition across the Horn of Africa,” said Ramiro Lopes da Silva, WFP’s Deputy Executive Director for External Relations and Resource Mobilisation, citing the critical need to support projects that will help millions of people quickly access food. Thanking donor countries for their generosity, Lopes da Silva said that with confirmed contributions and pledges, WFP’s funding shortfall for the massive operation for the next six months now stands at US$252 million.WFP has been receiving support from both its traditional government donors and from emerging and Middle East donor nations. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for example, has offered US$50 million which will be earmarked to help WFP scale up an existing operation in Somalia to provide specialised food for 600,000 children to prevent them from succumbing to malnutrition.Saudi Arabia has become one of WFP’s most valued donors in recent years. In 2008, at the time of the high food prices crisis, it gave US$500 million to WFP – the largest one-off donation WFP has ever received, and the Kingdom’s largest-ever contribution to any UN agency.An increasing number of companies and individuals are stepping forward to assist, with US$1.1 million in cash contributions from the Japanese private sector and in-kind support from UPS and TNT, who have offered logistics capacity. WFP has also received US$ 1.66 million in cash contributions from online donors.

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