BANGKOK – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is closely monitoring Cyclone Mocha, which is expected to make landfall this Sunday in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Working with partners, the U.N. World Food Programme is gearing up for a large-scale emergency response, putting in place contingency plans, and pre-positioning food and relief supplies, vehicles and emergency equipment. Heavy rainfall is forecast, with the possible risk of floods and landslides which could impact hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people in areas likely to be in the cyclone’s trajectory.

In Myanmar, the U.N. World Food Programme has pre-positioned enough food to cover the needs of more than 400,000 people in Rakhine State and neighboring areas for one month. In Bangladesh, U.N. World Food Programme fortified biscuits and 507,063 pounds of food stock are ready to be dispatched if needed in and around the camps for the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar.

“We are preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best. Cyclone Mocha is heading to areas burdened by conflict, poverty and weak community resilience. Many of the people most likely to be affected are already reliant on regular humanitarian assistance from the U.N. World Food Programme. They simply cannot afford another disaster,” said Sheela Matthew, U.N. World Food Programme Myanmar Deputy country director.

Anticipating interruptions to transport and telecommunications services, U.N. World Food Programme teams are also putting in place systems to serve the broader humanitarian community with their preparations and potential response to the cyclone.

“The Rohingya refugees are extremely vulnerable to climate shocks, given how disaster-prone the area is and the poor living conditions in the camps. We ask the donor community to continue supporting them in getting through this cyclone and also many other challenges they face, including reduced food assistance due to shrinking donor funding,” said Simone Parchment, U.N. World Food Programme Bangladesh deputy country director.

Unimpeded humanitarian access to support communities in need will be critical in responding to any immediate impacts of the cyclone and for the longer-term recovery process.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 7, 2023) – World Food Program USA is proud to announce two new grantees for the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education: the Lamia Afghan Foundation (LAF) and the Galkayo Educational Centre for Peace and Development (GECPD).

Hunger affects women and girls disproportionately, making up 60% of the world’s hungriest people. This disparity is due almost entirely to unequal access to education, resources and tools for personal and economic success. The Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education works to change this by empowering women and girls with the knowledge, training and leadership skills necessary to achieve food security and reach their full potential.

The Bertini Fund has supported dozens of girl-centered education programs over the years, ensuring that thousands of young women can access the education they deserve.

Lamia Afghan Foundation  

The Lamia Afghan Foundation (LAF) is a volunteer-powered nonprofit that helps the people of Afghanistan through humanitarian aid, educational opportunities and vocational trainings.

Recently, the LAF successfully implemented a “home schools” model for young girls in the eastern city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Through these home schools, Afghan girls who cannot attend their own village schools are able to receive an education. Students and teachers are provided with classroom items including books, stationery and a whiteboard. LAF volunteers work closely with community elders to establish these home schools and select teachers for each class. The Catherine Bertini Trust grant will support 150 girls across 10 home schools.

“This generous grant from the Catherine Bertini Trust will allow us to continue educating girls who have been pleading with us to continue the operations of their schools,” said John Bradley, President and CEO of the LAF and Retired Lieutenant General of the United States Air Force. “Girls will be in a safe environment with excellent teachers. They will become educated women who will ultimately change Afghanistan for the better. The education the girls get from this grant can never be taken away from them.”

Galkayo Educational Centre for Peace and Development

In Somalia, the Galkayo Educational Centre for Peace and Development (GECPD) aims to promote education for women and children, strengthen women’s access to income-generating opportunities and healthcare, and protect the physical, psychological and social well-being of the girls and women.

The grant-funded GECPD project seeks to provide educational opportunities and skills-based training to 150 girls from low-income families in the Mudug Region of Somalia. The education program equips young girls with foundational reading and mathematics skills. This program gives girls who have passed the age limit to enroll in lower primary classes, or who do not have schools in their hometowns, a second chance at gaining access to a formal education. In addition to the core curriculum, students will also receive psychosocial support and participate in awareness raising sessions on women rights issues including Female Genital Mutilation/Violence Against Women, child rights and protection, HIV/AIDS and environmental conservation.

Those who participate in the skills-based training will learn employable skills including tailoring, carpentry and food production. These skills will enable participants to secure an income and support their own as well as their siblings’ education.

“Only one in every four Somali girls of school-going age is attending school,” explained Founder and Executive Director of GECPD Hawa Aden “With this grant, we are able to enroll an additional 150 girls under our integrated education program and equip them with the knowledge and skills that will empower them to champion their rights and improve their livelihoods.”


About the United Nations World Food Programme    

The U.N. World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
About World Food Program USA

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit

About the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education

After winning the World Food Prize in 2003, Catherine Bertini, the former executive director for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), recognized an opportunity to leave a legacy for women’s empowerment. Bertini used her winnings to establish the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education. This fund supports innovative grassroots initiatives around the globe that boost girls’ access to training and educational opportunities.

Media Contact:
Abigail Seiler
Senior Manager, Public Relations
World Food Program USA  

As Pakistan gets pummeled by devastating flooding and landslides caused by heavy monsoon rainfall,  World Food Program USA is mobilizing to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s response to the escalating humanitarian disaster. Following the Government of Pakistan’s request for support, the U.N. World Food Programme is rapidly expanding its food assistance to 495,957 people in Balochistan and Sindh. The U.N. World Food Programme has already supported 40,189 flood-affected people in five targeted districts in Balochistan. Distributions have had to be put on hold due to strong rains and access constraints but will restart as soon as the situation allows.

On August 30, the United Nations will issue a $161 million flash appeal for Pakistan. As part of the appeal, the U.N. World Food Programme urgently needs $34 million in order to scale-up food and cash assistance to nearly 1 million people in the Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab districts and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

Since mid-June, flooding and landslides have caused widespread destruction across the country, killing at least 937 people and injuring 1,343. Flooding has affected 33 million people so far with 66 districts declared a ‘calamity hit’ by the government. Over 3000 km of roads and over 100 bridges have been damaged or destroyed; nearly 800,000 livestock have died and 2 million acres of crops and farmland impacted. The humanitarian situation is expected to worsen as communities and infrastructure are increasingly unable to cope with ongoing heavy rainfall. According to Pakistan’s disaster agency, record rainfall has been between three to five times the 30-year nationwide average.

World Food Program USA stands by the people of Pakistan during their time of need. Help us rush urgently-needed food and lifesaving support to those facing crisis in countries like Pakistan.

KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered emergency food assistance to 18,200 people affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Paktika and Khost on June 22. The 5.9 magnitude quake killed around 800 people, injured 1,500 people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

The U.N. World Food Programme has provided High Energy Biscuits and rations of wheat flour, salt, vegetable oil and beans. Distributions across both provinces are ongoing, while needs assessment teams are gathering information in earthquake-hit areas to uncover the full extent of the damage and determine priority humanitarian needs.

“This is an emergency on top of an emergency. 19 million people are already facing acute hunger across the country, a severe drought and crippling economic crisis is pushing people to the brink. And now thousands have lost their homes after the powerful earthquake and desperately need food assistance and shelter. We are appealing to the international community not to forget the people of Afghanistan,’’ said Gordon Craig, deputy country representative for the U.N. World Food Programme in Afghanistan

Additional Information for Journalists:

  • Humanitarian response efforts in areas affected by last week’s earthquake are ongoing as aftershocks continue to be felt in Giyan (Paktika). The logistics working group (led by the U.N. World Food Programme) is working with UNOPS to conduct a road assessment in three districts.
  • To date, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided emergency food assistance to approximately 18,200 earthquake-affected people (2,600 households).
  • In Bermal, the U.N. World Food Programme has identified 900 households (6,300 people) that require food assistance. To date, approximately 600 households (4,200 people) have received assistance.
  • In Giyan, the U.N. World Food Programme has provided High Energy Biscuits (HEB) to 2,000 households (14,000 people), including 614 households (4,300 people) who have also received emergency food rations.
    Complementary cooking supplies are being distributed jointly by UNHCR and IOM.
  • The U.N. World Food Programme has successfully set up two Mobile Storage Units (MSUs): one in Giyan in the Paktika province and one in Spera in the Khost province. A third MSU will be set up in Bermal in Paktika today.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media

KABUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has rapidly deployed food and logistics equipment to support communities devastated by the June 22nd earthquake that struck near the city of Khost. 18 trucks are being deployed to the earthquake-affected areas carrying emergency supplies, including High Energy Biscuits (HEB) and mobile storage units. The U.N. World Food Programme plans to provide emergency food to an initial 3,000 households and is ready to ramp up its support pending results of ongoing post-disaster assessments.

The U.N. World Food Programme – together with humanitarian partners – has been assessing earthquake damage and the needs of families on the ground. The remote districts of Giyan and Barmal in the Paktika province and Spera in the Khost province are among the areas worst hit. In Barmal, more than 70% of homes were completely destroyed. At least 1,000 people have reportedly been killed, with 2,000 others injured. However, rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and winds, as well as poor connectivity in affected areas.

“The Afghan people are already facing an unprecedented crisis following decades of conflict, severe drought and an economic downturn. The earthquake will only add to the already massive humanitarian needs they endure daily, including for the nearly 19 million people across the country who face acute hunger and require assistance. Our teams rapidly mobilized and will continue to provide support to help affected families get through this latest tragedy,” said Gordon Craig, U.N. World Food Programme deputy country director in Afghanistan.

The U.N. World Food Programme works in all 34 provinces of the country and has a fleet of 239 trucks on the road every day, delivering food to some 800 food distribution sites across the country. In May, the U.N. World Food Programme provided 590,000 people in Paktika province and 320,000 in Khost with emergency food and nutrition assistance. Since the start of 2022, the U.N. World Food Programme has assisted 18 million people with food, cash and livelihoods support in Afghanistan.

#                 #                   #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA and @wfp_media



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