NAIROBI, (IRIN) – Saudi Arabia has donated US $10 million to the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) operations in several Horn of Africa countries where some six million people are rapidly running out of food following severe drought
The countries are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Somalia.
“WFP is extremely grateful to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Saudi people for this important contribution that comes at a crucial time,” said James Morris, WFP’s Executive Director. “Many of the people who will benefit from the Saudi donation are nomadic pastoralists who have tragically lost all their livestock.”
The new donation comes at a time when WFP is having severe funding difficulties in East Africa, where the agency faces a shortfall of some $200 million for its drought-related operations.
“This latest donation is the largest ever to WFP from Saudi Arabia or from any Gulf country and is a sign of the government’s commitment to work more closely with the UN and with WFP in particular, so that we can reach these survivors quickly and effectively,” added Morris.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated billions of dollars bilaterally or multilaterally to relief and development projects over the last 30 years and the recent donations to WFP are examples of its ongoing commitment to help humanity,” said WFP’s special ambassador Abdulaziz Arrukban.