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Brazil Donates 5,000 Metric Tons Of Rice To WFP Emergency Operation In The Gambia

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BANJUL – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) received a donation of 5,000 metric tons of rice from the Government of Brazil towards its emergency operations in the Gambia.

This donation will provide vital food and nutritional assistance to over 200,000 people, including children under the age of five, who are at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition as a result of the 2011 crop failure. The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has covered the shipment of the donation and associated costs.

“The importance of donors’ and partners’ support at difficult times like these cannot be over- emphasized, said WFP Gambia Country Director, Vitoria Ginja. “Thanks to this contribution, WFP will provide more than 160,000 bags of rice that will meet the needs of up to 206,000 vulnerable people in the 19 most affected districts of the country for two months.”

Following the declaration of an emergency in March 2012 by the Government, the World Food Programme launched an immediate response to support 60,000 people in the five worst-hit regions as an initial two-month intervention. A more comprehensive Emergency Operation was launched in June to meet the food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable people.

“The uncertainties resulting from climate change make it particularly hard to deal with the humanitarian effects of drought, but we are glad to cooperate with our friends, the Gambian people, to overcome this challenge,” said the Brazilian ambassador to the Gambia, Maria Elisa Teófilo De Luna.

Stressing that “the delivery of food to the most vulnerable, particularly children, is the priority,” the EU Chargée d’Affaires Agnès Guillaud declared that through this partnership, Brazil, ECHO and WFP will not only help protect drought-affected groups, but also “provide the population of the Gambia with the strength and energy to rebuild their lives.”

WFP is currently engaged in two food and nutrition support operations in the Gambia. The UN agency provides general food distributions of rice and oil to the most affected households. It also provides -- through a supplementary feeding programme to over 37,000 children under five -- Super Cereal, a fortified blend of cereal to make a nutritious porridge and oil, to help prevent malnutrition and weight loss. Other beneficiaries include pregnant women, nursing mothers and well as people living with HIV/AIDS and TB.

For more information please contact (email address:
Isatou Njai, WFP/Banjul, Tel. + 220 766 6777
Sarah Yeno, WFP/Banjul, Tel. + 220 981 3422