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US contribution to boost Afghan food assistance: WFP

US contribution to boost Afghan food assistance: WFP

Jul 10, 2017 - 10:43

KABUL (Pajhwok): A contribution of $20 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will enable the World Food Programme (WFP) in Afghanistan to provide assistance to more than 577,000 needy people.

Nearly 70 percent of the money would be spent in Afghanistan to buy locally-milled, nutrient-enriched flour and salt, the UN agency said, adding mostly internally displaced people, those affected by natural disasters or living in disaster-prone areas would benefit from this donation/

A WFP statement said the needy people would also receive yellow peas and cooking oil in addition to wheat flour and salt. The recipients will include nearly 50,000 malnourished children under five and more than 12,000 pregnant women and new mothers.

Mick Lorentzen, WFP representative and country director, saud: “Malnutrition remains a significant challenge in Afghanistan, which is why WFP works with millers to enrich wheat flour with essential vitamins and minerals. Everyone in Afghanistan eats bread, so fortifying flour is an effective way of improving the nutrition of a large part of the population.”

As the WFP is working with local suppliers, the donation from USAID not only combats malnutrition, it also boosts the local economy.

USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith said: “With competing humanitarian crises and high levels of food insecurity across the globe, USAID is pleased to announce a US$20m cash contribution to support WFP/Afghanistan’s efforts to reduce hunger and malnutrition. 

“USAID’s cash contribution enables WFP to purchase wheat flour from local millers thereby supporting the local economy while meeting food assistance needs of the most vulnerable Afghans displaced by conflict, returnees and families affected by natural disasters and economic stress.”

WFP plans to assist up to 2.9 million food-insecure people in Afghanistan this year by providing food or cash to those affected by conflict and natural disasters, as well as additional nutrition support, disaster risk reduction activities and school meal take-home rations for girls and boys in food insecure areas.