OUAGADOUGOU - A ceremony to mark a contribution of dates donated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was held at the Saudi Embassy here on 16 March.
In attendance were Ben Yahya Ibrahim Khoudair, Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Finance, Dr. Dahir Mootish Alenaze, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Burkina Faso and Jean-Charles Dei, WFP Country Director in Burkina Faso.
The donation of 126 metric tons of dates, valued at US$284,900 (equivalent to almost FCFA 176,330,000), will strengthen WFP's efforts to improve the nutritional status of vulnerable groups in Burkina Faso. Dates are part of the traditional diet of the Sahel region. They are rich in carbohydrates, potassium, magnesium and iron, as well as containing fibre, which is often lacking in food consumed locally.
The Saudi dates will be enjoyed by more than 150,000 people, including 107,400 children in the school feeding programme in the Sahel region; 11,780 people living with HIV and children orphaned by AIDS; and 32,000 Malian refugees in Burkina Faso.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has provided and will always provide support to vulnerable and needy people in the world. This support is based on the humanitarian and social role the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays on the regional and international level and its belief that cooperation and coordination between all actors is needed to fight against hunger and poverty in all forms, particularly on the African continent. It’s in this spirit that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made this donation of dates to WFP, which is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide by providing food assistance in emergencies, and working closely with local communities to improve their food status and resilience,” said Dr Dahir Mootish Alenaze, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Burkina Faso.
“At a time when WFP is facing challenges in raising resources to carry out its work, this donation is highly appreciated and reflects the interest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in WFP and its activities, and in particular towards the people of Burkina Faso," said Jean-Charles Dei, WFP Burkina Faso Country Director.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
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For more information, contact Celestine Ouedraogo, WFP Burkina Faso:
firstname.lastname@example.org, +226 25 30 60 77 (telephone) or +226 75 14 47 47 (cell).