Sudan

WFP Sudan welcomes €30 million donation from the European Commision

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BRUSSELS - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - the world's largest humanitarian lifeline - welcomes a €30 million donation from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) to WFP's major emergency relief efforts in the Darfur region of the Sudan.

"This generous contribution from the European Commission will save lives and help the hungry in Darfur, and at the same time help WFP achieve our aim of purchasing food in ways that benefit local markets and farmers," said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.

The contribution, equivalent to US$40 million, will be used to buy more than 32,000 metric tons of food assistance for Darfur - including more than 15,000 MT of locally-produced sorghum, 2,230 MT of local salt and 4,000 MT of beans purchased regionally.

"The EU and the European Commission are major donors and vital strategic partners in our efforts to fight global hunger and create food security in Africa and elsewhere," said Sheeran, who earlier this week met with top EC officials in Brussels.

The European Commission is WFP Sudan's largest cash contributor, giving the agency the flexibility to purchase food assistance commodities as needed.

"This latest donation will help WFP to purchase and pre-position food assistance in Darfur before the rainy season, which is about to start and will last until October," said WFP Sudan Representative Kenro Oshidari.

WFP distributes food rations to more than two million people in Darfur - most of them in camps for internally displaced people. WFP's overall plan for Darfur in 2007 anticipates as many as 2.8 million people may require food assistance during the 'hunger gap' before this year's harvest, which normally starts in October.

In all of Sudan, WFP's emergency operation is targeting food aid for 5.5 million people, at a cost of US$685 million. So far this year, donors have ensured that the 2007 budget has received 74 percent of its requirements.

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 Global School Feeding Campaign - For just 19 US cents a day, you can help WFP give children in poor countries a healthy meal at school - a gift of hope for a brighter future. Visit our website: www.wfp.org

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=99

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):

Gemmo Lodesani, Director, WFP/Brussels, Tel. +32-2-5000910, Cell. +32-496-266665

Brenda Barton, Deputy Director Communications, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39-06-65132602, Cell. +39-3472582217 (ISDN line available)

Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.. +44-20-72409001, Cell. +44-7968-008474

Christiane Berthiaume, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Cell. +41-792857304

Cécile Sportis, WFP/Paris, Tel. +33-1-70385330, Cell. +33-6161-68266

Jennifer Parmelee, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1-202-4223383

Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-212-9635196, Cell. +1-646-8241112, luescher@un.org