Largest Saudi donation to WFP to assist drought-hit Horn of Africa

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 16 May 2006
ROME - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today donated US$10 million in cash to the United Nations World Food Programme's operations in the Horn of Africa, where over six million people in six countries are rapidly running out of food following several seasons of severe drought.
The six countries are: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Somalia.

"WFP is extremely grateful to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Saudi people for this important contribution that comes at a crucial time. Many of the people who will benefit from the Saudi donation are nomadic pastoralists who have tragically lost all their livestock," said James Morris, WFP's Executive Director.

The new donation comes at a time when WFP is having severe funding difficulties in East Africa, where the agency faces a shortfall of some US$200 million for its drought-related operations.

"When we do not have the funds, we cannot help the poor survivors of conflicts and natural disasters. This latest donation is the largest ever to WFP from Saudi Arabia - or from any Gulf country - and is a sign of the government's commitment to work more closely with the United Nations, and with WFP in particular, so that we can reach these survivors quickly and effectively," added Morris.

Saudi Arabia has become a significant donor to WFP operations worldwide. Since 2005, the Saudi government and private sector have given over US$20 million in contributions. Most recently, Saudi Arabia has provided funds for WFP operations in Cambodia, the occupied Palestinian territory and Pakistan.

Providing assistance to over 50 countries across the globe, Saudi Arabia plays a leading role in humanitarian and relief activities.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated billions of dollars bilaterally or multilaterally to relief and development projects over the last 30 years and the recent donations to WFP are examples of its ongoing commitment to help humanity," said WFP's Special Ambassador Abdulaziz Arrukban.

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 61 million hungry children, in at least 80 of the world's poorest countries. WFP -- We Feed People..

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

Peter Smerdon, WFP/Nairobi, Tel.. +254 (0) 20 7622 179, Mob. 254 733 528 911
Khaled Mansour, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +20-2581730, Mob. +20-122348671
Mia.Turner, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +20-25281730, Mob. +20-122455769
Brenda Barton, Deputy Director of Communications, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39-06-65132602, Cell. +39-3472582217
Christiane Berthiaume, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Cell. +41-792857304
|Trevor Rowe, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-212-9635196, Cell. +1-6468241112, rowe@un.org
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.. +44-20-72409001, Cell. +44-7968-008474
Jennifer Parmelee, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1-202-4223383