Comment by the Information and Press Department on suspension of the UN World Food Programme in Ukraine in 2018

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 09:14

According to the United Nations’ humanitarian aid plan for Ukraine in 2018, the World Food Programme, the world’s leading food assistance agency, was not listed as one of the administrators. In addition to the lack of funding, the measure was explained by the fact that the overall food supply situation in Ukraine no longer matches the criteria of a critical level based on the WFP classification.

At the same time, the United Nations has itself observed that food security in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions remains unstable and tends to deteriorate. Over 1.2 million people are affected. The majority of these people (800,000) live in the areas that Kiev does not control and which are under Kiev’s continuous social and economic blockade.

We can only assume that the WFP’s position is not just a result of a decline in international interest in the humanitarian needs of southeastern Ukraine and, therefore, a lack of available funding. On top of everything else, there is a political factor involved. WFP employees are not working on the ground in the areas outside Kiev’s control but are acting through various NGOs. The programme’s representatives refused to establish direct contacts with DPR and LPR authorities and to complete the registration process proposed by these authorities in order to increase the level of trust between the foreign humanitarian forces and the aid recipients.

As concerns the distribution of funding for the UN’s humanitarian aid programmes, the process is based on instructions from donor countries that usually provide targeted contributions to specific agencies, countries or for specific events. For example, in 2014 Russia donated $5 million to the UN World Food Programme to support Ukraine. Those funds were spent on vouchers for those in need in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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