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PESHAWAR: WFP starts food distribution

March 10, 2005


PESHAWAR, March 9: The World Food Programme has undertaken an emergency operation for distributing foodstuff in rain-hit areas of the NWFP, AJK, Northern Areas and Balochistan.

The WFP Pakistan has approved $500,000 to provide food assistance (wheat floor and vegetable oil) to around 29,500 families, including 13,000 in the NWFP. The operation being carried out through NGO's is currently for one month, may be extended for three months.

A meeting of the inter-agency coordination committee, which is coordinating relief efforts in the NWFP, was held at Unicef's sub-office. Representatives of the WHO, Unicef, Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) and IRC attended the meeting.

The committee's coordinator, Dr Quaid Saeed, said the meeting took note of discrepancies in the figures received from the provincial relief commissioner and decided to take up the matter with the official to clear the position.

He said that Unicef's provincial chief, Mr Osama, held a meeting with the relief commissioner and discussed the programme designed to provide relief goods among the rain-stricken people of NWFP and Fata.

Dr Quaid said that Unicef was getting more supplies for the affected districts with its main focus on food, blankets, clothes, and shoes for children. The meeting, he said, stressed the importance of monitoring relief supplies by partners in the calamity-stricken districts.

According to him, after the distribution of six health kits to six high-risk districts, the WHO had sent three trauma kits to the NWFP. Each trauma kit caters for the emergency health needs of 10,000 people for three months, he said.

A decision about sending these kits to the districts would be taken soon, he said, adding that the WHO had stressed the importance of implementing a monitoring system for use of emergency medical supplies given by it.