Armenia

WFP welcomes US$ 2 million donation from Russia to Armenia

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YEREVAN - The United Nations World Food Programme today warmly welcomed the delivery of 3,375 metric tons of wheat flour and 195 metric tons of vegetable oil, valued at US$2 million, donated by the Russian Federation to support WFP's operation to assist some 110,000 beneficiaries in Armenia.

"This donation to Armenia is very timely and has enabled us to continue assisting the poorest communities," said WFP Armenia Country Director Muzaffar Choudhery. "We are extremely grateful for Russia's ongoing commitment to our efforts to help those in need," he added.

Currently, WFP's operation includes relief food distributions, food-for-work, food-for-training and food-for-education in the provinces of Gegharkunik, Lori, Shirak and Tavoush, as well as the capital city of Yerevan.

The food donated by Russia has already arrived in Armenia and will be immediately distributed in all four of WFP's programme activities.

Food rations absorb the bulk of WFP assistance and reach beneficiaries who are targeted through the Government's vulnerability assessment system, PAROS.

"In the current phase of WFP's assistance to Armenia, such donor support makes us feel confident that we will be able to continue and conclude our mission in this country in a responsible manner," said Choudhery.

The country still faces major challenges in reducing poverty, redistributing gains from economic development as well as ending corruption and improving corporate governance. High unemployment, occasional informal jobs and self-employment characterize the present situation.

WFP has been providing food aid to Armenia since 1994, first to the refugees from Azerbaijan and later to Armenia's own vulnerable population. To date, WFP's food assistance totals US$79 million.

Donors to the WFP operation in Armenia between 2004 and 2007 include Russia (US$2 million), Switzerland (US$1.8 million), Sweden (US$1.6 million), the United States (US$1.3 million), Japan (US$402,000), Greece (US$512,000), Canada (US$51,000) and private donors (US$214,000). A further US$3.5 million was received in multilateral donations.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: each year, we give food to an average of 90 million poor people to meet their nutritional needs, including 58 million hungry children, in at least 80 of the world's poorest countries. WFP -- We Feed People..

WFP now provides RSS feeds to help journalists keep up with the latest press releases, videos and photos as they are published on WFP.org. For more details see: http://www.wfp.org/english/?n=999.

WFP now has a dedicated ISDN line in Italy for quality two-way interviews with WFP officials.

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Liana Kharatian, WFP/Armenia, Tel: +374-10- 580538, 564904 ext. 2024, Mob. +374-91-407834

Tatyana Chubrikova, WFP/Moscow, Tel. +7-095-2323011, Mob. +74 9591610 65774

Mia Turner, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +20-2-5281730, Mob. +20-122455769