KABUL - The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is reducing food assistance to millions of Afghans due to a shortage of donor funds, according to a press release issued by the agency Monday.
Facing a budget shortfall of $220 million dollars, the program will be able to feed 3.8 million people in Afghanistan in 2011, about half the people it had originally planned to assist this year.
The World Food Program will focus its available resources on assistance to the neediest and most vulnerable Afghans – especially women and children.
Starting this month, WFP is cutting school meals, food-for-training activities and food-for-work programs in about half of 34 provinces. The agency is currently attempting to raise additional funds from its voluntary donor nations, and says it plans to increase assistance if funding become available.
"We have had to make some very difficult decisions about how to refocus our work in Afghanistan because of the funding shortage," said WFP Deputy Country Director Bradley Guerrant. "As a neutral humanitarian agency, we have to take an impartial, needs-based approach rooted in humanitarian principles, to ensure support for those who need it most."