WFP Resumes Programs Providing Food to People With TB, HIV in Cambodia After Receiving Aid from Spain, U.S.
The World Food Program has resumed its programs providing people living with HIV and tuberculosis in Cambodia with access to food after receiving aid from Spain and the U.S., the agency said on Thursday, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports (AP/International Herald Tribune, 2/8). Thomas Keusters, country director for WFP's Cambodia office, said recently that WFP had been "forced to suspend" the programs because of funding shortages. The programs distribute food rations to 18,000 people with TB and 70,000 people with HIV. They also ensure that HIV-positive people and people with TB needing medicine are connected with food distribution points. "The sick need food first before taking medicines," Haidy Ear-Dupuy -- advocacy manager at the Phnom Penh, Cambodia, office of World Vision -- said, adding, "You cannot take medication on an empty stomach. You must maintain a balance" (Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service, 2/6). WFP in a statement on Thursday said that Spain has provided about $650,000 and that the U.S. has provided 6,100 tons of legumes, as well as 2,370 tons of vegetable oil, for a period of three years. WFP three weeks ago announced that it needed at least $10 million to run its programs in Cambodia through July (AP/International Herald Tribune, 2/8). Keusters said WFP welcomed the donations but added that more "urgent donations" are needed (Agence France-Presse, 2/8). HIV prevalence in Cambodia is 1.6%, the highest in Southeast Asia, according to Inter Press Service (Inter Press Service, 2/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.