By Julius Businge
The Government of Brazil has made its first contribution to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Uganda of 2,000 metric tons of rice worth about US$1 million (over sh2.5bn) to cater for 155,000 refugees in Uganda.
WFP said in a statement released on March 20 that Brazil is pleased to be able to offer this critical support to refugees in Uganda.
Antonio Ricarte, Brazil’s representative to Uganda said: “Our commitment to international humanitarian cooperation has become a cornerstone of our solidarity over the past 10 years with more than 50 countries, mainly in Africa and Latin America.”
Ricarte said Brazil had become a major donor to WFP globally, and since 2011, the country had contributed more than 300,000 tons of grain to 35 countries facing food insecurity. He said Brazil had substantially increased its annual contributions to WFP worldwide – from US$1 million in 2007 to US$82 million in 2012.
“WFP is extremely grateful to the Government of Brazil for its support, especially as it will benefit the recently-arrived Congolese refugees in Uganda,” said WFP Country Director Sory Ouane. “WFP believes that south-south cooperation helps developing countries share resources for mutual benefit.”
WFP is currently supporting an estimated 155,000 refugees, as well as providing nutrition support to malnourished children. The assistance – comprising cereals, beans/peas, vegetable cooking oil, corn soy blend and salt – is provided at two transit centres and eight settlements across Uganda.
Most of the refugees come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.
The Uganda rice consignment is part of 710,000 tons of commodities that Brazil has reserved for WFP operations globally this year.