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Central American Flood Fund Shortfall Faces UN

UN Agency Faces Large Shortfall In Funds To Feed Central American Flood Victims

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a serious shortfall in funding in its efforts to feed 360,000 hungry Central Americans stricken by this month’s floods, mudslides and volcanic eruption in Guatemala and El Salvador.

WFP is planning an emergency operation to feed 285,000 people in Guatemala over the next six months at a cost of $14.1 million. This is significantly higher than the original estimate, made just after the floods on 9 October flash, when limited information put the number at 150,000 people and the cost at $6.9 million.

So far, WFP has received only 21 per cent of the total resources needed through donations from the United States, Norway and Switzerland.

Since the emergency started, the agency has provided the Government with 1,724 metric tons of food for some 87,000 affected families. Airlifts to deliver high energy biscuits have been facilitated by the US Air Force, and aircraft and trucks have been provided by the governments of Honduras and Ecuador.

In El Salvador, where at least 75,000 people will need WFP assistance in addition to 100,000 already receiving food aid, the agency is facing shortfalls of 6,683 metric tons over the next five months.

The nutritional status of vulnerable groups, particularly young children and pregnant and lactating women, is seriously at risk as a result of the recent disasters and additional resources are urgently required, WFP said.

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