Subject: Lusa: Portuguese UN peacekeepers to begin distributing donated rice

East Timor: Portuguese UN peacekeepers to begin distributing donated rice

Dili, Nov. 3 (Lusa) - Portuguese UN peacekeepers in East Timor are expected to begin distributing more than 74 tons of donated rice this week to help thousands of drought-stricken people, officials said Monday.

The rice, a staple in East Timor, was mostly collected through institutional and private donations in Portugal during October in a campaign dubbed "Give Rice Now".

More than 26 tons of the total was provided by donations from Portuguese UN peacekeepers serving in East Timor, the officials said.

The food-aid drive was launched after UN agencies issued an alert in June that some 150,000 people - roughly 20 percent of the population - could face scarcity in coming months due to an estimated shortfall of 14,000 tons of rice caused by droughts.

ASP/SAS Lusa


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