LEBANON - Italy has given a million euros to help the UN World Food Programme provide nutritious snacks to pupils in crisis-hit Lebanon, where schools have been closed for months during the Coronavirus pandemic, WFP said on Wednesday, thanking Italy for its generosity. “We are very grateful to the people and government of Italy for this generous contribution which supported us in doubling the number of people we reached since last December,” said WFP representative and country Director in Lebanon, Abdallah Al-Wardat.
“It comes at a time when COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, as well as the major economic crisis in Lebanon, have led to soaring food prices, placing vulnerable families at further risk of food insecurity," he added. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Lebanon have been closed since 29 February 2020 and WFP is providing monthly food parcels for almost 133,000 vulnerable people, which allows families to spend their limited income on necessities, the UN agency said. “Italy is committed to continue supporting the Lebanese population, and considers the provision of basic rights, among which education and food security, as top priorities of its efforts in the country," said Italy's ambassador to Lebanon, Nicoletta Bombardiere "Through the partnership with WFP, Italy promotes a vision that places the vulnerable at the centre of its aid policy," Bombardiere added. The Italian funds were provided by the overseas aid cooperation department (AICS). Italy has supported WFP Lebanon with some 13 million euros since 2014, of which nearly half have gone to school meals, WFP said.