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February-26-02

World Food Program Announces New Initiative to Help Afghans

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will launch a new $285 million program to provide immediate and long-term humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. According to the WFP, their initiative will focus on “recovery.” Catherine Bertini, WFP Executive Director stressed that Afghanistan “will have to be rebuilt from the bottom up. The challenge for the humanitarian community will be to ensure that the outside world doesn't become complacent and the country's needs are met."

Under the new program, which will run April1 through December 2002, the WFP will provide 544,000 tons of food to Afghans and help rebuild irrigation system, schools, hospitals, roads, and bridges through food-for-work programs. The WFP will also provide food rations to civil servants and implement school feeding programs, whereby schoolchildren will receive food assistance.

Millions of Afghans are still without adequate food. 23-years of war coupled with one of the worst droughts in history has exacerbated the situation. According to the WFP, 85 percent of Afghans are dependant upon agriculture to survive.

Media Resources: United Nations World Food Programme News Release, 2/5/02

   

     

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