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News


Lanka severely affected as World Vision cuts food aid

World Vision, one of the world’s largest humanitarian organisations, has announced that it cannot feed 1.5 million of the 7.5 million people it fed last year and made an urgent appeal for international donors to step in.

The cutback could affect donations to 35 of the 100 countries in which the agency works, said Rachel Wolff, Media Relations Manager for Disaster Response.

The cutbacks are occurring across the developing world. Some of World Vision’s food aid programmes have been cut altogether, such as those in East Timor and Sri Lanka, while others have been reduced, such as those in Burundi, Niger, Cambodia, North and South Sudan. The cuts affect people in nearly every region of the world.

In Haiti, where food riots forced a change in government last week, the next major food shipment is not expected before June, and that will not meet the need, Wolff said.

“Though we’re able to feed people, we’re not feeding people as we would like, and those people we are feeding are getting less than we would like.”

She cited two primary, interconnected causes: an increase in food prices and an increase in the need for food. Wolff said the magnitude of the shortfall is unprecedented and predicted that the situation “will probably get worse as the year progresses.”
“What’s unique about this is that it’s happening all over the world,” she said.

The cutbacks have already begun, said Dean Hirsch, President of World Vision International, in a written statement. “Despite our best efforts, more than a million of our beneficiaries are no longer receiving food aid.”
More than half of them are children, he said.

He predicted the crisis would take at least two years to stabilise, “far too long for the millions of children who need sufficient levels of nutrition now to develop properly.”

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