The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - the world's largest humanitarian lifeline - welcomes a €30 million donation from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) to WFP's major emergency relief efforts in the Darfur region of the Sudan.
"This generous contribution from the European Commission will save lives and help the hungry in Darfur, and at the same time help WFP achieve our aim of purchasing food in ways that benefit local markets and farmers," said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.
The contribution, equivalent to US$40 million, will be used to buy more than 32,000 metric tons of food assistance for Darfur – including more than 15,000 MT of locally-produced sorghum, 2,230 MT of local salt and 4,000 MT of beans purchased regionally.
"The EU and the European Commission are major donors and vital strategic partners in our efforts to fight global hunger and create food security in Africa and elsewhere," said Sheeran, who earlier this week met with top EC officials in Brussels.
The European Commission is WFP Sudan's largest cash contributor, giving the agency the flexibility to purchase food assistance commodities as needed. "This latest donation will help WFP to purchase and pre-position food assistance in Darfur before the rainy season, which is about to start and will last until October," said WFP Sudan Representative Kenro Oshidari.
WFP distributes food rations to more than two million people in Darfur – most of them in camps for internally displaced people. WFP's overall plan for Darfur in 2007 anticipates as many as 2.8 million people may require food assistance during the 'hunger gap' before this year's harvest, which normally starts in October.
In all of Sudan, WFP's emergency operation is targeting food aid for 5.5 million people, at a cost of US$685 million. So far this year, donors have ensured that the 2007 budget has received 74 percent of its requirements.
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