The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of US$1 million from the Sultanate of Oman to support food assistance programmes that will benefit people suffering the effects of drought and conflict in West Africa.
“We are especially grateful for Oman’s generosity towards the people of the Sahel region whose needs risk being overlooked in the face of competing emergencies elsewhere,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “With the support of donors such as Oman, we are building on the resilience projects that were part of WFP’s response to the devastating 2011-2012 drought which affected millions of people, many of them women and children.”
WFP will allocate half the funds – US$500,000 – to its emergency operation in Mauritania, where refugees and displaced people have been affected by the conflict in neighbouring Mali. The remaining US$500,000 will go towards the relief operation in Senegal’s Casamance area, where sporadic violence and landmines have left more than 50 percent of the population food insecure, with a high prevalence of stunting and micronutrient deficiencies among mothers and young children.
WFP is currently aiming to reach ten million people in eight countries in the Sahel region: Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, Gambia, Chad and Cameroon.
The Sultanate of Oman has contributed US$28.5 million to WFP since 1975. Most of the donations have gone towards Syria and Southern Africa, as well as to school feeding in the Middle East.