Brazil gives first ever donation to WFP in Tajikistan

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DUSHANBE - The Government of Brazil has given the World Food Programme (WFP) in Tajikistan its first ever donation of US$ 50,000 designated for assistance to the victims of flooding, a WFP spokesperson said today.

The announcement of the donation coincided with the arrival of the new Brazilian Ambassador for Tajikistan, Alfredo Leoni, who came here to present his letters of credential to the Government of Tajikistan. Ambassador Leoni is based in Islamabad with responsibility for Tajikistan.

"We are honoured that Brazil has chosen to give its support to Tajikistan through WFP," said spokeperson Alzira Ferreira. "Brazil has become a significant donor to WFP in recent years, and we are delighted to see the South American nation's footprint here in Central Asia."

Since 2007, Brazil has donated over US$ 17 million through the World Food Programme, including US$ 2.2 million to strengthen capacity for School Feeding programmes worldwide. Brazil manages one of the largest national school feeding programmes in the world with more than 34 million schoolchildren. Brazil's "Zero Hunger" policy provides basic social services to more than 90 million beneficiaries in the country.

In Tajikistan, WFP gives school lunches to some 360,000 primary school children - about 70 per cent of all the school children in rural areas of the country. Food for education is, in fact, the primary focus of WFP's activities in Tajikistan.

"We look forward to strengthening our cooperation with the Government of Brazil for the benefit of the vulnerable people of Tajikistan," said Ms. Ferreira.

Brazil, one of the rising powerhouse economies of the world, is fast becoming a major donor for humanitarian and development assistance programmes through United Nations agencies. So far in 2009, Brazil is the largest Latin-American donor to WFP.