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WFP and the American Red Cross Wrap Up Three Year Partnership in Tsunami-affected Countries


WASHINGTON, Monday — The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has handed over its food and logistics support to the provincial government in Aceh, Indonesia, thus ending its three year close partnership with the American Red Cross.

“Following the 2004 tsunami, there was a critical need to provide food to thousands of survivors in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives,” says Gerald Anderson, senior director of the Tsunami Recovery Program of the American Red Cross. “Our partnership with WFP met this immediate need after the tsunami and has continued to provide food and nutrition education for vulnerable tsunami-affected families and schools in Indonesia for the past year and a half.”

The American Red Cross provided a $50 million grant to WFP to provide food to more than 2 million survivors in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Maldives, immediately following the tsunami. After the relief phase, a $15 million grant was given to WFP from the American Red Cross to continue assistance in Indonesia; an additional 500,000 vulnerable people were reached.

Recovery activities included providing fortified biscuits and deworming medication to elementary school children and fortified biscuits and noodles to mothers, expecting mothers and children under five at local health clinics. WFP’s nutritional rehabilitation program focused on nutrition education and increasing the knowledge of best hygiene and dietary practices.

“These activities helped reduce anemia rates by up to 20% among young children in Aceh and also improved attendance and learning behaviors of students, says Ms. Angela Van Rynbach, Representative and Country Director of WFP.”

Over the last four months and in close coordination with the American Red Cross and Government partners, more than 7,000 counterparts from the Ministries of Health and Education were trained at district and sub district level to enable them to continue implementing the program after the handover.

The American Red Cross will continue its recovery efforts in tsunami-affected communities through June 2010. The American Red Cross remains committed to helping tsunami survivors fully recover by providing permanent water supply and sanitation systems, conducting disaster preparedness trainings, helping survivors cope with emotional trauma, supporting disease prevention campaigns, rebuilding transitional and permanent shelter, and restoring livelihoods.

WFP is proud to have been a key partner with the American Red Cross and a part of the recovery efforts in Aceh led by the Aceh Reconstruction Agency (BRR) and the UN Office of the Recovery Coordinator. WFP will continue its food assistance in Indonesia, mostly in the eastern part of the country where poverty rates are highest. WFP also stands ready to respond to any future natural disasters.


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