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U.N. Forced To Delay Urgent Food Aid To Guinea Bissau Due To Lack Of Donor Support

“The United Nations said Tuesday that it had been forced to delay desperately needed food aid to nearly 300,000 people in Guinea Bissau since it so far had received no donations to support the operation,” Agence France-Presse reports. “‘The assistance was due to start on March 1, 2013, but operations are stalled because, so far, (we have) not received any donor support for the operation,’ Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the U.N.’s World Food Programme [WFP], told reporters in Geneva,” the news service writes, adding, “The WFP was urgently seeking $7.1 million to provide food and nutrition aid to 278,000 people across the troubled west African nation this year, ‘including to young mothers and children at increased risk of malnutrition,’ she said.” AFP notes, “The country is considered one of the world’s poorest, with a full 69 percent of the 1.6 million inhabitants living on less than two dollars a day, and 33 percent living on less than one dollar, Byrs said.” The news agency adds, “Byrs said a full six percent of the country’s population was suffering from acute malnutrition, with the rate rising to eight percent in some regions” (3/26).