IDPs push their wheelbarrows loaded with relief supplies at the WFP distribution point in Bannu on June 26, 2014. – AFP Photo
ISLAMABAD: The United States has contributed an additional $8 million to help Pakistani government meet food and nutritional needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
Thousands have fled the areas in North Waziristan Agency due to the Pakistani military’s ongoing Zarb-i-Azb operation against local and foreign militants in the tribal area bordering Afghanistan. The tribesmen have taken temporarily refuge into nearby areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as well as Afghanistan, in the biggest movement of refugees in the country in years.
The contribution, provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is part of the ongoing efforts of the US government and the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) under the Twinning Program.
The Twinning Program is a partnership between the government of Pakistan, WFP, and the international donor community through which wheat donated by the Pakistan government is transformed into fortified wheat flour and distributed in the most vulnerable communities.
This new commitment by the US government will enable WFP to transform approximately 38,000 metric tons of wheat into fortified wheat flour, providing more nutritional food for the IDPs over a two-month period.
With this contribution of $8 million, USAID is now the largest international donor to the program, providing a total of $31 million in support – enough to fortify 60 per cent of the wheat donated by the Pakistan government.
“The United States’ commitment to the Twinning Program is a demonstration of our support to the internally displaced population from the Fata and the incredibly important partnership between the government of Pakistan, WFP, and the international community,” said USAID Acting Mission Director, Nancy Estes.