The Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has decided that the government would pick up Rs 1.456 billion cost of 50,000 tonnes of wheat to be donated to the World Food Programme (WFP) for use within the country among the poor and malnourished people, it was learnt.
Sources told Business Recorder that in pursuance of the ECC decision dated July 03, 2012 a summary submitted by this Ministry of Food and National Security stating that consultations have since been held with the WFP, which is one of the main stakeholders of the Zero Hunger Programme, in this regard.
The WFP has recently informed that it is facing serious financial crunch as donors” financing for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of FATA was not forthcoming. Resultantly, the humanitarian food assistance for 165,000 families from six FATA Agencies would be affected. As a result, WFP reportedly informed that it is considering halving the ration/food basket to the IDPs during September/October 2012. For November-December, 2012 it is apprehended that no cereal/wheat flour would be included in the food basket which is the main staple commodity of the IDP”s daily food consumption.
The Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in a letter dated July 23, 2012 has also urged the need for continuation of ration supplies as stoppage of WFP”s food assistance to IDPs may have very serious political, humanitarian and law and order ramifications for the province, besides putting at risk the hard earned stability in FATA Agencies, where peace has been restored at a great cost.
As food assistance to the IDPs forms an integral part of the Zero Hunger Programme and given the critical supply situation of the WFP to the IDPs, it is proposed that fifty thousand tonnes (50,000 tonnes) of wheat out of PASSCO”s reserves may be donated to the World Food Programme, as was earlier agreed by the Finance Division. It is further proposed that wheat may be donated from the 2010 crop of PASSCO. The cost of 50,000 tonnes of wheat is Rs 1.546 billion, which may be picked up by Government of Pakistan. With this wheat, WFP would be able to provide fortified flour and high energy biscuits to 1.2 million IDPs till December 2012.