Syria confirms its position as emerging donor to WFP
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a donation of 4,000 metric tons of wheat from Syria to support WFP’s operations in the country.
The donation will support WFP’s existing activities in Syria, which focus on women and include literacy, vocational training and income generation in the poorest villages.
WFP is currently assisting about 140,000 households throughout 10 of the 14 Syrian governorates. “We are very grateful to Syria, which continues supporting WFP operations in the country and internationally. This food donation will enable us to give a chance to a larger number of women to participate actively and integrate in the development opportunities of our programme,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP’s Country Director in Syria.
In Syria, some major challenges still need to be faced to achieve gender equality. In remote and marginal areas of the country, such as the Syrian Steppe, (Badia), female literacy rates can go as low as 15 percent, and women concentrate on applying for menial jobs which they feel they have a better chance of attaining.
“The initiative by the Syrian government demonstrates the improvement of our country’s capability to gradually support its own people thanks to our progress in the field of agriculture and other fields,” said Abdullah Al-Dardari, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Chief of the State Planning Commission.
This is the second consecutive year Syria makes an in-kind donation to WFP’s development activities in Syria. “With this new donation, , Syria, which benefited for many years from WFP’s food assistance, is confirming its position as emerging donor to WFP. We are very proud of that,” added Bradford.
WFP’s programme in Syria addresses issues of rural poverty, household food insecurity, gender inequalities and degraded natural resources in Badia and marginalized areas.
In particular, WFP focuses on women, who constitute 56 percent of its beneficiaries, by establishing literacy and various training courses and income-generating activities that qualify them to start their own businesses in the future.
WFP’s assistance to Syria started in 1964 and in the four decades during which it provided food assistance worth about US$ 400 million.
In addition to Syria, donors to WFP’s operations in Syria include Italy (US$1.7 million), Saudi Arabia (US$1.6 million), Norway (US$760,000), Australia (US$ 630,000), Finland (US$226,600), and The United Kingdom (US$50,000)
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)