|[Published: Sunday April 29 2007]
INSECURITY THREATENS AID OPERATIONS IN AFRICA, UN FOOD AGENCY CHIEF WARNS
Rome,(APA) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has made dramatic progress in reducing malnutrition in Ethiopia, Sudan and Chad but these achievements risk being jeopardized by constantly shifting security conditions, said Ms Josette Sheeran head of the agency after visiting the three African countries concerned.
While in Sudan , Ms Sheeran welcomed a million contribution from the Government of Southern Sudan for the agency's rebuilding projects in the region, which is recovering from a 21-year conflict.
In a meeting between WFP Executive Director Ms Sheeran and southern Sudan 's Minister of Roads and Transport, Rebecca Garang Nyandeng, the minister announced that the Government would donate million to the agency's Road Building and Demining Programme plus an additional million towards refurbishing several airstrips in southern Sudan .
This is the second major humanitarian donation made to WFP by the southern Sudan Government, which last year donated million to the roads project, which has rebuilt nearly 2,000 kilometres of roads and removed more than 200,000 unexploded ordnance in the region since 2004.
A further 1,000 km of roads are scheduled to be rebuilt in 2007. The total cost of the roads project is 3 million.
Ms. Sheeran's Africa tour, provided her with the opportunity to with government officials and donor country representatives to discuss assistance for some 365,000 refugees and the internally displaced.
"Chad is facing the triple challenge of chronic hunger, a surge in internally displaced people and growing numbers of refugees from Darfur , Ms Sheeran said, We need to raise the resources to respond to all these needs," referring to the western region of Sudan where fighting has displaced some 2 million people since 2003.
Ms. Sheeran cited WFP's meals-in-school programme for children in crisis settings as a good example of a "humanitarian bridge" from the emergency to a stable life.
Ms. Sheeran's Africa visit was her first field mission since assuming the top job at WFP on 5 April 2007 . (APA)
AB/APA/ 30 April 2007---