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JUBA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of US$165.5 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to feed hungry people in South Sudan.
“Support from the United States was vital last year in averting a hunger calamity in South Sudan, but our work is far from over, and this additional contribution will be critical in allowing us to pre-position food before the rainy season,” said Joyce Luma, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan.
“Without sustained assistance, a humanitarian catastrophe still lurks for millions of people, especially as long as fighting continues,” she said.
USAID’s latest contribution includes yellow split peas, vegetable oil, sorghum and ready-to-eat nutritional supplements to treat malnourished children. This food helps WFP respond to the needs of hungry people affected by conflict and food insecurity in South Sudan.
More than a year of fighting has forced 2 million people from their homes, damaged farming and trade, and devastated people’s lives. About 2.5 million people are estimated to be in crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity and need humanitarian assistance to survive.
WFP urgently requires US$377 million for its food assistance operations in South Sudan for the next six months, including prepositioning food ahead of the rainy season. With 60 percent of the country inaccessible from May due to rains, WFP must preposition food at safe forward bases to reduce the need for costly airlifts during the second half of the year.
Another US$56 million is needed to feed South Sudanese refugees in Kenya, Sudan and Uganda over the same time period.
Including this most recent funding, the United States has provided around US$600 million to support WFP’s lifesaving food assistance work in South Sudan since the conflict began more than a year ago. The latest contribution is part of a larger $273 million humanitarian package for agencies in South Sudan that the U.S. State Department announced on 9 February.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_africa
For more information please contact (email address: email@example.com):
George Fominyen, WFP/Juba, Mob +211 922465247
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 207 622 179, Mob. +254 707 722 104
Steve Taravella, WFP/Washington, Mob. +1 202 770 5993
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob. +1-646 824 1112