WFP welcomes food shipment to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 October 2007, 14:32 GMT]
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed the shipment of 3,500 tons of food for Jaffna that will be distributed to the families among the most vulnerable populations in the isolated peninsula. "I am very pleased with these recent positive developments but I am concerned about our resourcing situations as we will be running out of food in November" said Jean-Yves Lequime, Acting Country Director of the World Food Programme in Colombo, adding "this is the moment to mobilize food for the vulnerable people."

Full text of the news release issued by the WFP follows:

28 September 2007

COLOMBO-- The United Nations World Food Programme welcomes the shipment of 3,500 tons of food for Jaffna that will be distributed by the Government and WFP to persons and families among the most vulnerable populations in the isolated peninsula. The food assistance will allow the Government and WFP to respond to immediate food needs as well as to build a buffer stock before the start of the rainy season. The first shipment that departed Colombo to Jaffna on 24 September was part of a larger consignment of 5,300 tons of WFP food that will be shipped during September with further monthly deliveries of 2,300 tons thereafter.

“With these first two shipments, WFP will be able to feed some 120,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and economically affected people in Jaffna over the next two months. It will also allow WFP to resume its school feeding and maternal and child health and nutrition projects.” said Jean-Yves Lequime, Acting Country Director of the World Food Programme in Colombo.

Through its interventions, WFP aims to preserve and improve the nutritional status of the population affected by crisis situations, especially of women and children, and to help to protect and restore their livelihoods. WFP is also running two Special Operations: to augment the logistical capacity for the delivery of humanitarian supplies to areas affected by the conflict through the provision of UNflagged trucks and common logistics hubs; and to provide UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) from Colombo to Jaffna.

The WFP food shipments also include 300 tons of non-food-items for implementation of joint Government/WFP emergency and recovery operations on the Jaffna Peninsula.

"This is a significant increase from the previous allocation of 1,500 metric tons per month and I am grateful to the Government for its commitment to support the affected people in Jaffna. The Commissioner General of Essential Service (CGES) has arranged the vessels for the first time to be dedicated solely to the Ministry of Nation Building and WFP food commodities. I want to thank them as well as our donors for their support to make this happen." said Mr. Lequime.

At the same time, some 5,000 tons of WFP food commodities corresponding to three-month requirements will be dispatched to the Vanni – northern conflict districts controlled by the LTTE – and will allow the Government through the Ministry of Nation Building and WFP to feed some 70,000 IDP and conflict-affected people as well as school children, children under five and their mothers.

"I am very pleased with these recent positive developments but I am concerned about our resourcing situations as we will be running out of food in November" said Mr. Lequime, adding "this is the moment to mobilize food for the vulnerable people."

 

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