Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    UNIS/VIC/185
    2 December 2011

    Re-issued as received

    The World Food Programme honours five decades of partnership with Saudi Arabia

    VIENNA, 2 December (World Food Programme) - The World Food Programme (WFP) will show a photo exhibit from 5 - 16 December 2011 at the United Nations Office at Vienna in commemoration of the outstanding partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This exhibition has been organized to highlight the valuable assistance given by Saudi Arabia to WFP programmes in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Zambia, and other countries affected by hunger.

    The exhibition will be officially and jointly opened by t he Deputy Executive Director of WFP, Amir Abdulla and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.H. Prince Mansour Bin Khalid Al-Saud on Monday 5 December at 13:00 hours.

    During the height of the food and fuel price crisis, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud donated US$500 million to WFP. It was the highest single contribution ever made to a United Nations organization enabling the development of new tools to fight against hunger. The contribution has permitted WFP to reach millions of people across the globe with life-saving food assistance programmes in over 70 countries. Over five decades, Saudi Arabia has supported WFP with cash and dates worth more than US$1 billion, which has been critical for WFP's work to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.

    In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, ready-to-eat meals have been provided to schools and hospitals in Gaza. By April 2009, 160,000 of these meals had been given to Palestinian school-children, hospital patients and staff.

    In Somalia, internally displaced drought-affected people desperately seeking food arrived at WFP feeding centers in Mogadishu where they received High Energy Biscuits and hot meals made from wheat-soya blend. "We came here with nothing, I have nothing and my children are starving. This food is the only means we have to survive," said Hawa, a mother of four.

    Fleeing war in Somalia, Mohammed Ismail and his wife lost two sons hi a bombing attack. It was a long journey that finally led them to a refugee camp in the Sudan that housed 10,000 people and delivered WFP food, making possible a new beginning for the family.

    In Ghana, women and children benefited from nutritious supplementary rations in districts with the highest malnutrition levels, and 50,000 people benefited from cash transfer programmes.

    Floods in Ghana destroyed the crop of Adam, a farmer, leaving him and his wife, Alima, unable to feed -their twelve children. The donation reached the family just in time during the holy month of Ramadan, at the moment of the breaking of their fast.

    In the Sudan, WFP operations have used donations for local purchases that further support the local economy and self-sufficiency of smallholder farmers.

    In Mozambique, over 20,000 orphans and chronically ill people have been fed with locally purchased food.

    The exhibition can be seen as part of the guided tours of the Vienna International Centre.

    * *** *

    The Deputy Executive Director of WFP, Amir Abdulla and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.H. Prince Mansour Bin Khalid Al-Saud will be available for interviews.

    For more information please contact:

    Barbara Gerold
    Donor Relations Officer, World Food Programme Berlin
    Mobile: (+49) 151 5372 8546
    Email: barbara.gerold[at]wfp.org