Islamabad: World Food Program has so far reached out to 550,000 people in five flood affected districts by distributing food items among them. In October the number would reach to 2.5 million people who have been provided food and other relief items.
This was informed by Deputy Executive Director for Operations of World Food Program (WFP) Mr. Ramiro Lopes Da Silva who called on President Asif Ali Zardari at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today.
He was accompanied by Acting Country Director Mr. Dominique Frankefrot and other officials of World Food Programme.
Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Secretary EAD Abdul Wajid Rana, Chairman NDMA Dr. Zafar Iqbal Qadir and other senior officials were also present during the meeting besides Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar.
Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that the WFP is also working on a plan under which it will buy surplus commodities from Pakistan on the one hand and undertake distribution of international food assistance to the flood victims, on the other.
Mr. Ramiro Lopes Da Silva expressed sympathies and grief over the losses caused by the recent devastating rains and floods, assuring the President full commitment of WFP to reach out to the maximum number of affected people and to augment Government’s efforts in providing relief to the calamity stricken people. He briefed the President about the activities of WFP so far and the future course for providing relief to the affected people.
During meeting various issues faced by WFP during their operations to reach out to the affected people including that of reaching out to scattered population, means of transportation to access isolated places that have been affected and the budgetary requirements were also discussed during the meeting.
The President said that Government greatly appreciates UN and its various arms especially the WFP, for its support in providing relief to the flood affected people. He said that Government would provide all possible assistance to all who are engaged in relief activities.
The President said that he was personally monitoring the relief activities by not only surveying the affected areas regularly but also regularly interacting with the Government officials and the elected representatives of the affected areas through video conferencing so as to ensure that relief work was done in a most efficient and transparent manner and that it was responsive to the needs of the effected people.
He said that the floods and resultant devastation was a huge challenge especially the loss caused to our economy and to the small farmers whose standing crops were wiped out. He said that the Government was taking a number of steps including providing the affected people with cash money through NADRA issued ‘Pakistan Card’.
Mr. Ramiro Lopes Da Silva thanked the President for meeting the delegation and assured that WFP would continue to provide relief the affected people in coordination with concerned Government authorities.
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