Islamabad: In an effort to combat malnutrition, the United States contributed an additional $34 million to the World Food Program (WFP), which will provide food rations for the next four months to 3.2 million Pakistanis, including 1.63 million Temporary Displaced Persons (TDPs) from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
This new commitment by the United States will enable the WFP to transform approximately 71,000 metric tons of wheat, donated by the Government of Pakistan, into fortified flour. The funding will also be used to locally and regionally purchase more than 29,000 tons of food commodities to be distributed in Pakistan.
Gregory Gottlieb, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director, said, The U.S. Government through USAID is helping Pakistan to improve food and nutrition conditions for more than 50 percent of the population, which are most vulnerable to malnutrition in Pakistan. The United States has a long-standing history and commitment to working together with Pakistan to provide humanitarian assistance and support human and social development.
The contribution is part of the ongoing efforts of the U.S. Government and the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) under the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation. The Twinning Program, part of the operation, is a partnership between the Government of Pakistan, WFP, and the international donor community.
USAID is the largest international donor to the program, providing $40 million in support of the Twinning Program since 2013. The program transforms wheat donated by the Government of Pakistan into fortified flour and distributes the product to vulnerable communities in Pakistan. Donor funds are used to cover the costs of milling, fortification, storage, transport, and distribution of the wheat flour.
Pakistan ranks third in the global burden of malnutrition. It has an economic cost to Pakistan of close to three percent of the country’s total GDP. To help address this challenge, the United States has provided over $1.4 billion in humanitarian assistance to Pakistan since 2009 and in 2014, USAID provided over $80 million specifically for food assistance.