|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.”