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KINSHASA – The Republic of South Africa has announced a contribution of 3 million rand (US$ 290,000) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to assist displaced people facing food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
These funds will enable WFP to provide food assistance to 12,000 displaced families, or 60,000 people, for one month.
"We give our sincere thanks to the Republic of South Africa for this timely and generous gesture," said WFP's DRC Country Director Martin Ohlsen at a ceremony in Kinshasa today. "We are delighted to see a country in this region contributing to the fight against hunger in DRC."
Some 2.6 million people are currently displaced in DRC, mostly in the east of the country.
"Though well acquainted itself with the challenges of food insecurity, the Republic of South Africa wishes to make this gesture of solidarity with its brothers and sisters in DRC," said His Excellency Ntshikiwane Mashimbye, Ambassador of South Africa to DRC. "We share WFP's vision of a world in which every man, woman and child has permanent access to the food necessary for a healthy and active life." His Excellency added that his country's contribution was undertaken in the spirit of ‘Ubuntu'. He said this philosophy, which can be translated as "I am because you are" informs all the dealings of South Africa, in particular those with other countries on the continent.
This contribution from South Africa to WFP in the Democratic Republic of Congo follows a similar gift to DRC in 2009 of 1.3 million rand (US$ 173,000). South Africa supports several humanitarian projects in DRC, notably those undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of Health for the acquisition of diagnostic equipment for tuberculosis and the upgrading of key units of the country's leading hospitals.
WFP plans to give some US$ 458 million worth of food assistance to 4.2 million vulnerable people in DRC between June 2013 and December 2015. WFP is currently facing a six-month shortfall of US$ 57 million for its operations in DRC.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance. Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media WFP website: www.wfp.org
Contacts: Fabienne Pompey, WFP/Kinshasa, Tel. +243 97 0000 292, Mob. +243 815 527 089 Joseph Davies, Embassy of the Republic of South Africa, Kinshasa, Tel. +243 82 374 31 77 David Orr, WFP Spokesman for Southern Africa, Johannesburg, Tel. +27 11 517 1577, Mob. +27 82 908 1417