The World Food Program has shut down its school feeding scheme that served 450,000 Cambodian children and plans to make cutbacks in a similar initiative in Kenya, which benefits 1.2 million. Rapidly rising food costs widened the agency’s funding deficit from USD500 million to USD755 million in less than two months. With donations only coming in recently – USD300 million so far – the WFP had no choice but to make such “heartbreaking decisions.” As such, WFP executive director Josette Sheeran reiterated the agency’s appeal to rich governments to ease the budget shortfall. U.K. international development secretary Douglas Alexander announced a new aid package worth USD910 million, but only USD60 million will go to the WFP. The biggest portion amounting to USD800 million will finance agricultural research in the next five years. “There is no simple answer to this global situation. As part of the U.K.’s response, we will work with key international institutions, such as the World Bank, IMF and U.N., to develop a comprehensive approach that will help put food on the table for nearly a billion people going hungry across the world,” Alexander said.
Source: WFP cuts school meals as food crisis grows (The Guardian)