Canada has donated US$6.7 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support its nutrition and school feeding programmes and other relief activities for the internally-displaced population of North Waziristan.
The contribution will enable the Rome-based organisation to run its school feeding programme without a break in food supplies until December 2014, supporting more than 200,000 students in nearly 1,200 schools in six agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
Part of the donation will also be used for nutrition activities. In addition, the funds will support the milling and fortification of 2,905 tons of wheat donated by the Pakistan government to WFP for its relief operation.
“Canada is proud to contribute to the World Food Programme’s efforts in Pakistan to increase food security and ensuring access to nutritious food,” Canadian High Commissioner Greg Giokas said.
“WFP is Canada’s largest humanitarian partner and we will continue together to respond to Pakistan’s emergencies and save lives by getting food to the hungry quickly, while also working to prevent hunger in the future.”
“WFP applauds these contributions from Canada that will boost nutrition and education needs in Pakistan,” said WFP Country Director Lola Castro.
She said, “WFP’s interventions aim to treat malnutrition among women and children through providing supplementary foods – an important step in achieving nutrition security among this community.”
WFP’s school feeding programme focuses on conflict-affected areas of Fata which are highly food insecure and are characterized by low literacy rates, especially among women.
WFP is targeting approximately 60 per cent of the schools in six agencies with the aim of stabilising enrolment and encouraging boys and girls to get an education. School meals help address short-term hunger needs and low enrolment rates through onsite feeding, as well as providing take-home rations, which persuade families to send their children to school.
Canada has provided WFP with much-needed support amounting to almost $55 million over the past four years. These donations have been critical in sustaining relief food assistance for people affected by floods and insecurity.
Funding received from Canada has also supported WFP projects to construct storage facilities across the country in order to boost disaster preparedness and response capacities at the field level.
WFP aims to assist 8.3 million people between 2013 and 2015 at a total cost of $535 million seeking, among others, to improve economic opportunities and promote social inclusion in FATA, boost community resilience in disaster-prone areas, and address nutrition and education in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2014.