In droughthit Madagascar US donation allows UN to widen delivery of food

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will this week start distributing emergency assistance to about 100,000 people in southern Madagascar suffering from the effects of a crippling drought, following a donation from the United States.The donation of $1.4 million is being used to give out 2,000 tons of sorghum and 440 tons of lentils so that 100,000 beneficiaries can have a full family ration for two and a half months.WFP’s country director in Madagascar, Krystyna Bednarska, said the agency was extremely grateful for Washington’s swift response to an appeal by Malagasy authorities, who are trying to help an estimated 465,000 people left vulnerable across 33 districts in the south of the country.“WFP now has sufficient resources to start providing food to the most vulnerable families in the hardest-hit parts of the region,” Ms. Bednarska said.The first shipment of 950 tons of sorghum reached Madagascar on 9 January, and the remainder is expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Targeted distribution by the Government, WFP and its non-governmental organization (NGO) partners is set to begin over the next few days.Since September, when it began providing special assistance in the south through food-for-work programmes, WFP has distributed 2,000 tons of food to about 66,000 people.The agency is also giving assistance in nutrition rehabilitation centres to malnourished children and pregnant and nursing women, funded in part by a €900,000 (euros) donation from France.But the agency needs another $1.1 million immediately so that it can supply an extra 1,400 tons of food aid to tens of thousands of people. 19 January 2007The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will this week start distributing emergency assistance to about 100,000 people in southern Madagascar suffering from the effects of a crippling drought, following a donation from the United States.

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