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Canada provides food aid to flood and conflict-affected areas in PHL

Canada provides food aid to flood and conflict-affected areas in PHL

By Michaela del Callar

MANILA, Sept. 11 (PNA) – Canada’s government aid agency has donated nearly 100 metric tons of high-energy food products to help feed thousands of Filipino children, who were battered by last month’s widespread flooding in Central Luzon region and who were displaced by the armed conflict in Mindanao.

Emergency food assistance donated by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has boosted the Philippine government-led emergency relief efforts in flood-affected areas of Central Luzon and conflict-torn areas of Central Mindanao, said the United Nations World Food Program(WFP), which had been distributing the relief items.

“WFP is grateful to CIDA for its steadfast commitment in responding to humanitarian needs in the Philippines when they arise, which has enabled WFP to be an effective partner to the Philippine Government,” WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Stephen Anderson said on Monday.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

Plumpy’Doz, a nutritious ready-to-use supplementary food product, is currently being distributed to flood- and conflict-affected children aged 6 to 36 months.

Beneficiary identification and distribution is being done in close partnership with the Department of Health and local governments, Anderson said.

Canadian Ambassador Christopher Thornley said Canada’s long standing partnership with the WFP has served to help many people around the world, including with the delivery of rapid and effective humanitarian assistance in the Philippines.

“Canada has a long record of providing assistance to those who are most in need,” Thornley said.For Central Luzon, which had been devastated by massive flooding caused by the Southwest monsoon in early August, over 33 metric tons of Plumpy’Doz have already been distributed to about 26,000 flood-affected children from the National Capital Region, Region III, and Region IV-A. A total of 60 tons, enough for more than 92,000 children for two weeks, will be provided.

In Central Mindanao, where tens of thousands of people were displaced in August following a series of armed clashes between Muslim rebels and Philippine government troops, almost 2.7 metric tons of the nutritious ready-to-use supplementary food has been provided to over 2,000 children, complementing the local and regional government’s emergency relief assistance for the displaced.

Specialized nutritious foods are an effective form of relief assistance for young children, who are more vulnerable to malnutrition, particularly in the early stages of a crisis when the quality and quantity of food available is often inadequate, the WFP said.

Canada is one of the top donors to WFP globally, becoming the second largest donor to the organization in 2011.

In the Philippines, CIDA contributions have supported WFP nutrition and livelihood support programs in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, as well as emergency relief programs following the onslaught of Tropical Storm Washi or locally known as Sendong in December last year. (PNA)

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