ISLAMABAD: Concerned over the shortage of food supplies, the World Food Programme (WFP) from November will eliminate sugar, and maybe also tea, from the food basket it is distributing among the flood-affected population.
So far, in response to its appeal for $600 million, the WFP has only received $200 million. Nevertheless, it is aiming to raise another $80 million by the end of the year.
Initially, the WFP was targeting to reach six million people but the number has now increased to 7.2 million. The increase in the number of people is forcing the agency to reduce the items in the food basket. Cooking oil, tea, sugar, wheat, high-energy biscuits and pulses are some of the items. “We are still lacking resources and we need the donors to step up with assistance as we would not be able to deal with the emerging food shortage,” WFP country director Wolfgang Herbinger told The Express Tribune.
To boost fundraising, the WFP has taken musicians Zeb and Haniya on board. Addressing the press conference, Zeb and Haniya, who had visited Nowshera earlier with the WFP team, assured of their assistance and support in helping the agency raise funds.
“We had always thought about getting involved and contributing to the flood relief effort,” said Zeb. “The media has lost interest in the subject and there is still so much that needs to be done on the ground,” said Haniya.
The humanitarian community and the government of Pakistan are planning to launch another appeal by next week.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2010.
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