- Published on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 21:27
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Sri Lanka Tuesday donated 10,000 mertic tons of rice to Somalia and east Africa. The consignment was handed over to the World Food Programme to be sent to Ethiopia, where tens of thousands of refugees have fled, after devastating drought contributed to famine in Somalia last year.
The symbolic hand over of the rice to WFP's was held at Temple Trees where President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the acting Country Director Ms. Azeb Asrat were present.
This is the first ever donation from the Government of Sri Lanka to WFP's food operations abroad and the first shipment of 500 mertic tons is scheduled to leave Colombo port in the next few days.
Speaking to a group of students who were present at Temple Trees during the handing over, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it is a cherished value of Sri Lankans to help those who are in need and Sri Lanka is donating this consignment to benefit of people in Africa affected by a natural disaster.
President said Sri Lanka has made such donations since ancient days for the affected people.
Ms. Azeb Asrat while thanking President Rajapaksa for this goodwill gesture said this donation will help provide critical food and nutritional assistance to hungry people, in particular Somali families.