World donations help UN provide food to millions

World Food Program head says extra US$1.2 billion in funds will suply aid for 75 million people going hungry because of soaring food prices.

Josette Sheeran 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Josette Sheeran 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
The head of a UN aid agency said Wednesday that an extra US$1.2 billion in donated funds will provide food for 75 million people going hungry because of soaring food prices. Many people in poor countries cannot afford to buy the food available in markets, World Food Program head Josette Sheeran said. The new funds, from a "generous response" of donors, will go for food in more than 60 countries that have been hardest hit by the food crisis, Sheeran told a UN food summit. The agency said it is tripling the number of people who receive food in Haiti, where rising food prices led to deadly riots and cost the prime minister his job. It will double the number of those who will receive food in Afghanistan; and it will deliver critical food assistance to people in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. "We have mobilized our 10,000 employees and every dollar and euro given to us, to reach as many hungry people as we can at this critical time," Sheeran said in a written statement. Sheeran attended a three-day food summit hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization, a UN food agency based in Rome, like WFP. She told the summit that she was just in Myanmar where "there was food in the market" but that many people, left hungry by the cyclone, did not have the money to buy rice. Sheeran said WFP was purchasing 80 percent of the food for distribution in the local countries.