Pakistan commits huge wheat donation to WFP
ISLAMABAD: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday welcomed a commitment by the newly created Pakistan Ministry of Food Security and Research (MFSR) to annually donate up to 500,000 metric tonnes of wheat to WFP to combat malnutrition and improve food security in poor countries around the world.
WFP Pakistan Country Director Jean-Luc Siblot highly praised the donation, saying, “This in-kind donation is the largest in recent years by any country where WFP has its operations,” adding, “It shows a strong commitment by the government of Pakistan to address the issues of food security and malnutrition in poor countries and will also encourage the international donor community to step up its support.” The donation, valued at $144 million, was announced in a Letter of Intent signed on Wednesday by the ministry and WFP at the end of a six-day food security workshop attended by government representatives, donors, WFP members, the Food and Agricultural Organisation and NGOs, including Oxfam and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute.
Speaking at the closing session of the workshop, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the next federal budget would make provisions for school feeding in the most food insecure districts of the country and nutrition programmes will be initiated for children under the age of five and for pregnant women.
Under the agreement, some 500,000 metric tonnes of wheat will be converted to nutritious food commodities to be used to combat hunger among the most vulnerable sections of society.
Specialised nutritious food supplies will be distributed to some six million malnourished children, pregnant women and primary school children. These supplies will include mineral and vitamin fortified wheat flour, high energy biscuits and fortified pastes for the treatment and prevention of malnutrition among infants, all of which will be produced in Pakistan.
WFP’s partnership with Pakistan falls under the National Zero Hunger Programme, within which the government will work with UN agencies and donors and draw on the experiences of other countries to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the country. “Pakistan has the means and capacity to solve the hunger problem,” said Siblot “And this contribution to WFP is a clear signal of their determination and leadership.” WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, WFP feeds more than 90 million people on average in more than 70 countries.