New York, NY (BBN) – The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has announced the roll-out of a $214 million to help millions in 16 countries hit hard by high food and fuel prices.

The funds will provide critical assistance by providing life-saving food rations to highly vulnerable groups, continuing to feed school-aged children even while school is out, and giving supplemental food to pregnant women and young children whose mental and physical development is at stake, a UN press statement said.

The WFP also aims to expand food aid to urban areas hardest hit by high food prices, including through cash and vouchers, and to support small farmers and markets in countries where the agency will purchase food assistance locally, through the initiative.

The new funding will assist people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Tajikistan, Uganda, Yemen and the occupied Palestinian territory.

BBN/SI/SI/AD-13August08-11:59 AM