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WFP Calls for Rescue Package for the World's Hungry
Date:12/16/2008

ROME, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) today urged countries to step up and allocate to urgent hunger needs a fraction of what is proposed for financial rescue packages to address the global economic downturn.

"We need to send a bold signal of hope to the world with a human rescue package," said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Program, speaking from New Delhi during her first visit to India, the country with the single largest population of undernourished people in the world. "As we take care of Wall Street and Main Street, we can't forget the places that have no streets," she said, referring to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's challenge to political leaders.

WFP - which aims to feed nearly 100 million of the world's hungriest people in 2009 - announced today that it will start the New Year needing US$5.2 billion for urgent hunger needs. Without a rapid injection of funds, millions of people in Haiti, the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya and other hunger hot spots will run out of food assistance by the end of March, when warehouse stocks run out. WFP is voluntarily funded, and relies on annual contributions for all of its programs.

Sheeran said that with a mere 1 percent of what has been tabled for financial rescue packages and stimulus packages in the United States and Europe, developed countries could fully fund the work of the World Food Program, and make a mark toward meeting other urgent hunger needs, for example feeding all 59 million hungry school children worldwide ($3 billion per year) and the establishment of a reserve fund for fast acquisition of food stocks for emergencies. Funds are also needed to boost the agricultural production of small-holder farmers who have seen the price of seeds and fertilizers more than double since 2006.

"World leaders need to be confronted with the values implicit in the pol
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SOURCE United Nations World Food Program
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