Belgian development cooperation last year donated close to 20 million euros to the World Food Programme (WFP), enabling it to assist over 14.5 million people in nine countries, WFP said in a press release on Tuesday. This includes 5.2 million euros given in October 2017 to WFP actions within the framework of the food agency’s response to the crisis in Kasaï, Democratic Republic of Congo, where the highest emergency phase had been activated. This was the biggest contribution for that operation, WFP said.
WFP also launched a project in 2017 exploring the use of drones in humanitarian emergencies, to which Belgium contributed 500,000 euros.
Belgium is the second largest contributor to WFP’s Immediate Response Account (IRA), which enables the agency to respond immediately to catastrophes whenever and wherever they occur.
“We greatly appreciate Belgium’s continuous support for WFP’s work in a year marked by multiple crises and rising needs,” said Elisabeth Rasmusson, WFP Assistant Executive Director for the Partnership and Governance Department.
“I am firmly committed to continue Belgium’s strong partnership with WFP to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in places like Syria, Yemen, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Belgium’s Minister for Development Cooperation, Alexander De Croo.
WFP assists some 80 million persons in almost 80 countries each year.