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Minister Smith announces 8.51 million euro for Hunger in Africa and the "Forgotten Emergencies"

Mr. Brendan Smith, Minister for Food at the Department of Agriculture and Food, today announced €8.51 million in core funding is to be provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). "This money will be used by WFP to provide food to the hungry in Africa and elsewhere in the most efficient way possible" Minister Smith said.

WFP are currently fighting hunger across the globe. Within Africa, drought has led to a crisis situation, particularly in the Horn of Africa including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti. In Southern Africa, constant poverty and the threat of HIV/Aids continues to threaten the food security of many. There are also many other crisis situations throughout the globe that are not highlighted by the media and are forgotten emergencies.

"It is because of this that the Department of Agriculture and Food provides Ireland's core contribution to the WFP in cash and allows them the discretion to direct it where it is most needed" Minister Smith said. "This contribution can be used by WFP in the areas most in need and in the most effective way".

This type of funding gives maximum flexibility and allows WFP to best use their expertise in fighting hunger and to respond rapidly to crises. The funding will be used to bring food aid as a response to natural and man-made emergencies, to help bring people from crisis to recovery and in support of logistics to speed up the delivery of aid.

In addition to the core funding provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs, responds to requests for funding for specific WFP emergency appeals. This combined approach makes Ireland's contributions to WFP especially useful to the organisation. All Irish funding to WFP is in the form of untied cash grants.

Minister Smith emphasised the fact that in the last seven years, the Department of Agriculture and Food has more than doubled its contributions to WFP: "In 2000, we contributed just under €3.2 million. This year our contribution so far has reached €8.51 million."

10 May, 2007


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 2005, WFP fed 97 million people in 82 countries. Sudan was the largest single country operation in 2005. Currently some of WFP's major operations include: Eastern Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia) Southern Africa (Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) and elsewhere.

The table below shows the increases in the Department's contributions to WFP since 2000:

Annual contributions to WFP in Euro (2000 - 2006)

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
3,187,005 3,729,221 4,430,000 4,430,000 5,830,000 7,000,000 8,500,000

Ireland was the fourth highest per capita contributor to WFP in 2006, with an average contribution of around $7.50 per person.

Date Released: 10 May 2007