European Commission Contributes to UN Food Program

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The European Commission Humanitarian Office has contributed $772,532 to the United Nations World Food Program to provide food assistance to the needy in Armenia–the WFP Yerevan office reported. The money will be used to purchase some 1,650 tons of wheat flour and 210 tons of vegetable oil.

The food will be distributed during the second half of 1999 to improve the nutritional status of a total of 110,000 vulnerable households–including refugees–with a special focus on the needs of women and children–the report says. Beneficiaries will be identified through the social assistance targeting system PAROS run by the Armenian Government.

In addition–WFP will use part of the ECHO donation to implement community-based food-for-work projects. Trees will be planted in deforested lands to help stop environmental degradation–and orchards and forests for firewood will be set up. Irrigation canals will be repaired and cleaned to make thousands of hectares useful again. Tens of thousands of children will benefit from the renovation of schools and kindergartens countrywide.

According to the same source–the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has contributed 80 tons of cheese worth $339,800 to WFP to use for its food assistance projects for needy people of Armenia.

Donations by the Government of Switzerland have largely contributed to the successful implementation of WFP projects since 1993–the report says. To date–the Agency has provided around $2.6 million of assistance to WFP to improve the nutritional status for an average of 200,000 people at risk. In particular–the Swiss donations have contributed towards the successful implementation of community-based food-for-work projects.

The World Food Program is the food aid arm of the United Nations. In 1998–it delivered 2.8 million tons of food to 75 million people worldwide–suffering from civil war–political conflict and natural disasters. In Armenia–WFP established its presence toward the end of 1993. An average of 200,000 people have benefited from food distributions–and an additional 75,000 have improved the nutritional status of their families by participating in food-for-work projects.

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