The World Food Program announced Wednesday that it gave emergency aid to at least 14.5 million people in 31 developing countries during 1988, and its director said the forecast for 1989 is bleak.
The U.N. agency's director, James Ingram, said this year may be remembered "as the year of disasters.""Never before in WFP's history did we have to respond to so many sudden calamities, primarily hurricanes and typhoons but also devastating floods in all parts of the world," he said.
The agency said the amount of emergency food aid delivered to people in 1988 is expected to surpass the 820,000 tons delivered in 1987, the largest amount previously provided in its 25-year history.
The agency said its assistance in 1988 reached 8.5 million of an estimated 13 million refugees.
Program officials also said they do not expect the demand for emergency food aid to decline in 1989.