WFP thanks Saudi for dates donation
Damascus, May 17, 2008
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a donation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of 680 metric tons of dates, worth $605,000, to help feed thousands of vulnerable people in Syria.
'We are grateful for this timely and generous donation from Saudi Arabia, which will be used to help nourish thousands of schoolchildren and women in rural areas. We highly appreciate Saudi Arabia’s longstanding support for development projects in Syria and investment in people,” said acting WFP Syria country director Adham Musallam.
The official handover ceremony took place at WFP Damascus office in the presence of Charge d’Affaires at Saudi Arabia’s Embassy Faleh bin Mohammad Al Rouhaily, representative of Saudi Ministry of Finance Mr. Mohammad Al Hakabani and Musallam.
The dates will be distributed as food rations to primary school students and illiterate rural women to encourage them to attend school, as part of WFP’s Food-for-Education programme. The programme’s first year will target around 23,000 students and 7,000 rural women.
WFP’s three-year programme in Syria aims to provide food assistance to some 285,000 women and children in marginalized and food-insecure areas of the country, at a total cost of $6.7 million. Until this latest contribution from Saudi Arabia, the operation was facing a 91 percent shortfall in funding.
Saudi Arabia is an increasingly important contributor to WFP operations worldwide. It donated about US$57 million between 2000 and 2007.
This latest donation to Syria is part of a 4,000 metric ton donation of dates that Saudi Arabia makes to WFP’s operations every year.- TradeArabia News Service