UN fights hunger with $180 mn of flexible funds

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Rome, April 4 (IANS/AKI) At a time of unprecedented humanitarian crisis, a group of government partners have allocated $180 million of flexible funding to help the United Nations World Food Programme respond to severe and ongoing emergencies around the globe, WFP said on Wednesday.

“Flexible funds give us the freedom we need to respond more quickly, save on costs, plan for the longer term and prevent disruptions to our life-saving work,” said WFP executive director David Beasley.

“To make the most of precious donor resources, we call on more of our government partners to provide funding that is unearmarked, predictable, and usable over multiple years,” he added.

WFP recently allocated the flexible funding to around 60 country operations while providing a vital and urgent boost to lifesaving efforts in Syria, Yemen, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the agency stated.

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Besides giving food aid to refugees and to displaced people, the flexible funds will also boost support to development projects, said WFP.

Thanks to donor governments and other partners, WFP said it is averting starvation in an unparalleled six large-scale emergencies, including famine in South Sudan and the influx of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh from Myanmar – the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.

Flexible funding enables WFP to act swiftly, effectively and efficiently, yet governments that provide this kind of funding are still a small minority as many specify how and where the money can be spent, the agency said.

Flexible contributions to WFP last year amounted to just seven percent of the total resources provided to WFP, well below the record of 20 percent of flexible funding in 2002, the agency stated.

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In 2017, Sweden, Britain, the Netherlands, Norway and Germany led the way in providing multilateral funding to WFP, and Italy was also among the top 10 donors, giving $12,390,445.

At the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, leading donors committed to progressively reduce earmarking of funds and to achieving a global target of 30 percent of flexible funding by 2020.

–IANS/AKI

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