WFP welcomes India's growing role in supporting food security
New Delhi, Sep 14 (UNI) From being a net recipient in 2000, India transitioned to become the 15th largest donor to the World Food Programme in 2005 and confronted global challenges, including hunger, malnutrition and literacy, in South Asia and around the world, says WFP's Asia Regional Director Tony Banbury.
Mr Banbury, who was on a weeklong visit to the country, lauded the increasing and important role that India played in assuring food security for South Asia, and in particular Afghanistan.
United Nations World Food Programme's senior official was here to review WFP operations and discuss with the Government possible areas for enhanced collaboration.
He said in the last three years, India has made donations through WFP worth about 52 million dollars to assist children in Afghanistan and Iraq to return to schools. Nearly 2 million children, half of them girls, benefit from this generous Indian contribution.
''Biscuits from India have been instrumental in persuading families to allow their daughters to enroll in schools across Afghanistan,'' he said and added that ''hundreds of thousands of poor and hungry Afghans have benefitted already from India's tremendous gift.'' Mr Banbury further noted that WFP is playing an increasing role in providing food aid to most vulnerable populations in countries on India's borders: in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar. In each of these countries, food aid supported by international donors can offer stability and development assistance to persons and communities that might otherwise be affected by food insecurity.
During his mission to India, Mr Banbury travelled to flood-devastated Rajasthan and Gujarat to visit WFP-supported projects for the rural poor of India and noted the benefits of many of these pilot programmes in bringing improvements to the lives of the rural poor.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency. Each year it provides food aid to an average of 100 million people, in more than 80 countries of the world.
UNI BBS CS RS1515