WFP to continue relief activity in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 March 2008, 16:27 GMT]
World Food Programme (WFP), which had earlier considered suspension of its food assistance projects in Jaffna peninsula due to a critical shortage of cash contributions, brought relief to peninsula residents when it announced Friday the continuance of the projects during a meeting convened by Jaffna Government Agent (GA) at Jaffna Secretariat.

The WFP had called for a list of prioritisized projects from GA Jaffna in a recent conference held in Colombo to appraise the needs and to determine future relief food assistance projects in Jaffna peninsula.

The GA Jaffna had convened the Friday meeting to identify the most urgent and important projects in consultation with the Presidents of Co-operative organizations, Regional Secretaries, Directors of Education, in the peninsula who were invited to participate in the meeting.

Food relief assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), Relief assistance to the impoverished due to conflict and School meals to students are the major assistance projects of WFP in Jaffna peninsula, civil society sources said.

WPF supports 19,665 persons from 5,758 families, internally displaced in Jaffna peninsula since 11 August due to Sri Lanka Army (SLA) offensives.

Majority of affected families are from Thenmaraadchi and Allaipiddy in the islets of Jaffna.

99,536 persons from 34,735 families receive WFP assistance in the form of food relief supplies under the categories of the impoverished and the unemployed, according to statistics supplied by WFP.

A total of 1,19,201 persons belonging to 40,493 families in Jaffna penisula depend on WPF food assistance for existence.

Besides, the WFP Nutritional supplementation to school children in the form of cooked meals for lunch has been a great success in the peninsula, education officials said.

WFP, in its press release 14 Feb 2008, said that, to date its operation has suffered from the slow arrival of donor funds, with a critical shortage of cash contributions that can be used for local procurement.

WFP’s activities in Sri Lanka continue to focus on providing support to the most vulnerable groups and for peace building to resolve the 23 year old conflict in the country through food assistance. The main components of WFP interventions in Sri Lanka include:
  • Nutritional supplementation to pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as to children 6 months to 5 years;
  • School meals to address short term hunger in primary/secondary schools; and
  • Food for work for seasonally unemployed people and landless labourers.
Also, WFP provides emergency assistance to those who have fled conflict areas and have become internally displaced.

These programs assist population groups that constitute the most vulnerable in having limited access to basic food.

 

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