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U.S. wheat donation supports Yemen’s most vulnerable

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May 5, 2014

SANA’A – The U.S. Government (USG), in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), today transferred USD $20 million in wheat destined for Yemen’s most vulnerable population. The donation, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), was marked by a handover ceremony at the WFP’s Sana’a warehouse; it is the third contribution from the USG’s Food for Peace program totalling 21,800 metric tons of wheat.

The latest donation was offloaded at the Port of Hodaida this month and will be distributed by WFP to some of the 2.8 million severely food insecure Yemenis during the first half of 2014. In 2013, the USG provided 77,500 metric tons of food to WFP in Yemen. Food insecurity is a level of need where people struggle on a daily basis to buy or produce enough food to maintain health.

Speaking at the ceremony, Chargé Sasahara said: “It is through partnership and cooperation between international donors with the Yemeni government and private sector that we have any chance of combating this country’s humanitarian crisis. USAID is working hard to align humanitarian efforts such as these food aid contributions with longer-term development efforts in order to build resilience against future crises.”

The 2013 U.S. contribution to WFP Yemen was worth more than USD $68.5 million, enough to feed more than three million hungry Yemenis for six months. A similar amount is expected to be donated this year. These additional funds will help support a new Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) that WFP is launching in July, with an emphasis on enabling a gradual shift from relief to livelihood support and building resilience.

The PRRO, which aims to provide assistance to some 6 million people, covers a range of interventions including helping to develop agriculture, rural infrastructure, rainwater conservation and rural employment, as well as providing treatment and prevention of acute and chronic malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, and meals and take-home rations for children regularly attending school.