ROME, (Reuters) - The United Nations food aid agency said on Friday that it would run out of food for 300,000 Armenians by the end of April.
"We are running out of food rapidly," said Muzaffar Choudhery, country director for Armenia of the U.N. World Food Program, the world's largest food aid agency. "We have no contributions that will take us beyond the end of April."
WFP said it had received only $10 million of the $32 million requested for a three-year operation launched in 2001. In Armenia an estimated 55 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
"Many of these beneficiaries include children and old people, who have no source of income," Choudhery said. "International food aid, provided by WFP, is their only lifeline."
Since independence in 1991, Armenia has been hit by a series of disasters, both economic and natural. The 1988 earthquake left over 25,000 people dead and over 400,000 homeless. The following year a military conflict with Azerbaijan broke out over the disputed territories of Nagorno-Karabakh. While a ceasefire has been in place since May 1994, there is still no political solution.