|Photo: Amantha Perera/IRIN|
The rice shipped in the final days of March 2012 from the port of Colombo to Ethiopia. There it is going to be distributed to an estimated 300,000 refugees who have fled from famine and drought in both Somalia and Sudan.
A symbolic handover of the food aid was made from H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa to WFP’s Acting Country Director, Ms. Azeb Asrat. WFP has been an integral part of humanitarian aid efforts to Sri Lanka for 40 years. In 2005 it was instrumental in food distribution following the 2005 tsunami. It has also helped provided food to resettlement communities in Sri Lanka's northern and eastern regions. Here, in the last week of March 2012, it will be distributing another 500 metric ton donation of white rice from the government of Sri Lanka.