A Dutch donation of US $500,000 to the UN World Food Programme has provided sufficient resources to feed 20,000 Angolan refugees in Namibia until May, WFP said in a press release.
The donation - the first made to WFP's Namibia operation this year - comes out of the multilateral funds the Dutch government annually awards to WFP. It is being used to buy maize, beans, corn soya blend, vegetable oil and sugar.
"We are most happy to assist WFP carry out its mission in Namibia" said Willem Aalmans, Charge d'Affaires for the Netherlands embassy in Namibia. "We are also pleased that our contribution will be used to buy food from within SADC [Southern African Development Community], thereby supporting the regional economy in southern Africa."
WFP's Namibia operation for 2002 aims to provide 5,006 mt of food, including around 3,600 mt of maize to refugees living in Osire camp, where the beneficiaries consume an average 250 mt of food commodities per month. In addition, WFP provides food to refugees in two transit centres near the Angolan border with Namibia.
The total budget of the one-year WFP Namibia operation is US $2.2 million.
"This contribution has come at a particularly important time for WFP, since its Namibia operation would have faced food shortages for all commodities by March 2002 without donor support," said Oscar Sarroca, WFP's Angola Country Director a.i. "But further donor contributions are still urgently needed in order to maintain the steady flow of aid to refugees in Osire and in the transit centres," he said.
Namibia has a longstanding Angolan refugee population as a result of the Angola's 27-year-long civil war.