DAKAR - An operation to provide food assistance to more than 800,000 people is being launched by the United Nations World Food Programme, with first distributions to be held on Saturday, 28 April, in the rural commune of Oukout in Ziguinchor region.
People hit by the poor 2011/2012 harvest will receive food to cover their basic needs during the lean season, which has started early this year after the harsh drought. The launch of the operation will be attended by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and WFP Senegal Country Director Ingeborg Maria Breuer.
"We chose Oukout for the launch of WFP's response as Ziguinchor is one of the regions worst affected by the food crisis," said Breuer. Vulnerable areas were identified following surveys conducted in February and March by WFP and its partners in collaboration with the government of Senegal. "The surveys identified 100 vulnerable zones in Senegal, where the levels of food insecurity sometimes exceed 59 percent," said Breuer.
Supporting the efforts of the Government to respond to the food crisis, WFP will provide assistance to 739,000 people in rural areas and 67,000 in urban areas. It will be delivered through various activities included targeted distributions of food and cash vouchers, cereal banks and food-for-assets activities, which help build the resilience of vulnerable households through supporting agricultural projects. WFP will also provide nutritional support to more than 100,000 malnourished children and mothers.
In order to tackle the food crisis declared in Senegal and to protect the food security and the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people in this difficult period, WFP needs to mobilize US$53 million. To date, US$22 million have been raised. To carry through WFP activities until the next harvest in October, US$31 million are urgently needed.
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For more information please contact:
(email address: email@example.com)
Elisabeth Byrs, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41 22 917 8564, Mob. +41 79 473 4570
Ingeborg Maria Breuer, WFP/Dakar, Tel. +221 33 859 75 50 ext. 2103
Paulèle Fall, WFP/Dakar, Tel. + 221 33 859 7550 ext. 2110; Mob. +221 77 332 3378