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[Published: Monday April 23 2007]

New York,(AP)- 23 April 2007- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed Russias donation of million worth of wheat to Sudan to help the agencys recovery and development operations, saying the shipment will help feed 284,500 school children and 6,000 adults.

The shipment of 4,205 tons of wheat will go to children enrolled in WFPs school

feeding programme in three Sudanese states  Kassala and Red Sea in the

countrys east and North Kordofan in the centre  as well as 6,000 participants

in food-for-work projects, WFP said in a news release issued yesterday.

WFP Regional Director in Sudan Kenzo Oshidari described the shipment, part of a

total million donation from Russia to the UN food agency last year, as

vital for the future of thousands of Sudanese children.

When children get a hot meal at school, they are better able to concentrate and

retain information, he said. We are especially pleased that absenteeism among

girls in our programme is almost zero at schools where hot meals are served.

Last year WFP provided food aid to about 275,000 school children, boosting

overall enrolment by 24 per cent and raising attendance rates from 86 to 91 per

cent. The programme, part of a three-year arrangement costing million, has

expanded this year.

The food-for-work programme allows participants to receive food rations in

exchange for work on community development projects such as the construction of

school classrooms, pit latrines, tree plantations and water collection ponds.

Secretary General urges end to deadly violence in Somalia

New York,(APA)-24 April 2007-The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for an end to the violence raging in Somalia, where hundreds of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands of others forced to flee their homes in recent days.

The Secretary-General is gravely concerned about the continuing heavy fighting in Mogadishu, which has reportedly killed more than 250 people and forced more than 320,000 from their homes in the past six days alone, spokesman Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

He deplores the reported indiscriminate use of heavy weapons against civilian population centres, which is in disregard of international humanitarian law, she added in a statement.

Mr. Ban called on the parties to immediately cease all hostilities and to facilitate access for the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance, reiterating that there is no military solution to the Somali conflict and renewing his call for an urgent resumption of political dialogue.

UN agencies warned last week that efforts to deliver relief aid to Somalis in need are being hampered by the security situation in the capital, and warned of a looming humanitarian crisis there.

In December 2006, the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), backed by Ethiopian forces, dislodged the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from Mogadishu and much of the rest of the country, which has not had a functioning government since 1991.
AB/APA/24 April 2007---

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