- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced yesterday that it is donating US$ 17.6 million to help people affected by rising global food crisis.
US$ 10 million of the fund will go to World Food Programme (WFP), to feed young children and pregnant and breast-feeding mothers in African nations of Niger, Cote D'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps and Oxfam America are getting remaining US $7.6 million.
Mercy Corps, a disaster assistance non-profit group based in Portland, said funds would target Central African Republic, Nepal, Niger, Somalia and Sri Lanka, hit hard by rising costs of food.
"Since agriculture and needs of small-scale farmers in developing world have been increasingly neglected in recent decades, we need a significant reinvestment in agricultural development, from donors and developing countries that focuses on helping small farmers boost their yields and increase their incomes," president of Mercy Corps' global development programme, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, said in a statement.
President of Oxfam America, in Boston, Raymond C. Offenheiser, said $2-million grant to his charity would expand its hunger-relief efforts in Ethiopia, where more than 225,000 people have been affected by drought.
Mr Offenheiser said grant would be used to provide food aid to children and help communities reduce their risk of future droughts, among other efforts.
While these are emergency grants, Gates Foundation's global-development programme is focused on battling hunger in long term by helping improve agriculture in developing countries.
Foundation has made grants totaling US$ 800 million to help small-scale farmers in Africa and South Asia.
United Nations reports show that 950 million people worldwide are at risk of hunger and malnutrition because of rising food and fuel costs.
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