WFP gives emergency food aid to Mekong flood victims
The UN food aid agency will give a two months' supply of rice to these flood victims, who constitute about one-third of the total number of Vietnamese who desperately need food aid. Each recipient of the $200,000 operation will get a 10-kilogram bag of rice a month for a two-month period, WFP officials said.
"Our food assistance will enable people in the hardest-hit provinces to survive until the flood waters have receded," said Kenro Oshidari, WFP Regional Manager for Asia, noting that the floods in the Mekong Delta are the worst in 40 years.
"The flood waters have destroyed not only people's food stores but most of the rice crop in three [of the country's 61] provinces," said Oshidari. He added that hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the floods, the Mekong's worst since the great disaster in 1961.
Because the typhoon season continues until December, Oshidari noted, it is possible that rains may exacerbate the conditions throughout the Mekong Delta, where thousands of people are huddled on dykes with the minimum of food and water.
In Cambodia, another country badly affected by the flood, WFP is meeting the emergency food needs of the flood victims from food stocks already stockpiled in the country under a long-term rehabilitation operation for 1.3 million people.
Meanwhile, WFP is examining the best ways to give assistance on a wider, regional basis to three countries hit by the floods. The agency, the largest food aid organisation in the world, wants to be able to meet food needs as flexibly as possible, depending on the food insecurity risks throughout the region.