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Australia donates $5m to assist drought affected families

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AT-Kabul: The Australian government has contributed five million Australian dollars to provide food assistance to people affected by drought in Afghanistan.

According to a statement,this brings Australia’s total contribution to WFP’s operations in Afghanistan to AUD15 million in 2018. And the WFP will use the contribution for a joint response to the drought-affected population in Afghanistan’s 20 provinces.

This includes sourcing wheat grain from the Government of Afghanistan Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR). WFP will distribute the wheat flour to affected families, complementing a food basket with food like fortified vegetable oil, pulses and iodized salt. “Australia’s humanitarian assistance focuses on supporting the most vulnerable, with a particular focus on women, children and people with a disability” said Australia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, Nicola Gordon-Smith.

 “Australia is pleased to support this joint response by WFP and the Government of Afghanistan to help provide vital food assistance to affected families.”

Afghanistan is currently facing severe drought that has affected 20 out of the country’s 34 provinces. WFP is working with the Government of Afghanistan, mainly Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to release wheat from its Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR).

The wheat will be milled, fortified and distributed among families affected by the drought.

“This contribution will enable WFP and partners, including the Government of Afghanistan, to help drought affected women, men and children make it through and build their resilience in this critical period by improving their food security and nutritional needs,” said Naoko Fukunaga, Deputy Country Director for WFP in Afghanistan.

 “The Government-owned SGR will play a key role in providing wheat grain for this response,” Ms. Fukunaga added.

In 2013, WFP built the SGR main storage facility in Kabul with funds provided by Australia, and in close collaboration with the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock. The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development.