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Minister Smith announces an additional donation of 1.3m euro to the World Food Programme (WFP)

- Visit Of Mr James Morris, Executive Director Of The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) -

Mr. Brendan Smith T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with special responsibility for Food today announced an additional donation of €1.3 million for the World Food Programme. This funding is in addition to the €6.2 million in core funding already provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food to the WFP in March. "This additional money will be used by WFP to provide food aid to help people move from crisis situations to recovery," Minister Smith said.

In many countries the humanitarian crisis can continue long after the immediate crisis has passed and the newspaper headlines have faded from memory. After an earthquake or a conflict people are left with little and need support to rebuild their lives. WFP are currently engaging in this kind of relief and recovery work across the globe.

"We will continue to provide our funding to the WFP in cash and allow them the most flexibility so that they can be most effective," Minister Smith said. "I am delighted to announce this additional funding which brings our 2006 contribution to €7.5 million. Annual funding provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food has increased from €3.2 million in 2000 to €7.5m in 2006 more than doubling the core funding provided".

The donation was made on the occasion of the visit to Ireland of the Mr James Morris. "With its extraordinary leadership on humanitarian issues, Ireland continues to demonstrate an outstanding commitment to helping the poor and hungry all over the world," said James Morris, Executive Director of the World Food Programme.

"The generosity of the Irish government and its people is a major inspiration and a wonderful example to be followed by the global relief community."

Mr Morris has been Executive Director of the World Food Programme since 2002 and has visited Ireland on several occasions. Mr Morris will be leaving the World Food Programme in March 2007. Minister Smith thanked Mr Morris for his work with WFP and wished him success during his official visit, which includes meetings with President Mary McAleese and Minister of State Conor Lenihan.

The Department of Agriculture and Food and Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs work together to support the vital work of WFP. Irish Aid responds to specific WFP emergency appeals and to date have provided some €13.6 during 2006. All Irish funding to WFP is in the form of untied cash grants.

13 October, 2006

NOTE FOR EDITORS

The World Food Programme (WFP) was established in 1962 and is the food aid organisation of the United Nations. It is an aid programme, which operates on the basis of voluntary contributions by donor countries pledged at irregular intervals. The WFP provides food aid primarily to low-income, food deficit countries, to assist in the implementation of economic and social development projects and to meet the relief needs of victims of natural and other disasters. In 2004 the WFP fed 113 million people in 80 countries. Its operation in Iraq was the biggest single operation in the history of WFP. Currently some of WFP's major operations include: Eastern Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia) Southern Africa (Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) and elsewhere.
Ireland is the fifth highest per capita contributor to WFP during 2006 and is the 17th largest donor.

Date Released: 13 October 2006