UN allocates $214 mn for ‘hunger hotspots’

August 13th, 2008 - 4:48 am ICT by IANS  

Rome, Aug 13 (DPA) The UN World Food Programme (WFP) Tuesday announced a $214-million roll-out directed at 14 global “hunger hotspots”. The measure comes as nearly one billion poor people worldwide grapple with the “unrelenting global high food and fuel price crisis”, the Rome-based WFP said in a statement.

The $214 million will help provide food rations to highly vulnerable groups; continuing to feed school-aged children even while school is out and giving supplemental food to pregnant women and young children whose mental and physical development is at stake, WFP said.

In addition, the money expands food assistance to urban areas hardest hit by high food prices, including through vouchers and support for small farmers and markets in countries where WFP will purchase food assistance locally, the agency said.

From the total package, WFP is using $110 million to target the Horn of Africa region where the effects of drought and insecurity have been compounded by high prices, WFP said.

This included Ethiopia, where more than 10 million people are affected by drought and Somalia, where political instability is a key factor, WFP said.

WFP will use the remaining $104 million to ramp up food assistance to more than 11 million people in 14 countries particularly hard-hit by high food prices.

This includes help to urban areas where food is unaffordable and there is risk of discontent, such as in Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, and Mozambique.

The money is also being used for accelerating voucher programmes in countries like Djibouti, and cash transfers - some targeting urban youth - are starting in Liberia, Ghana, Nepal and elsewhere.

Other beneficiaries include Guinea, Mauritania and Uganda in Africa, Yemen and the Palestinian territories in the Middle East, and Pakistan and Tajikistan in Asia.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |