October 8, 2019 (JUBA) – The European Union (EU) is providing US$10.4 million (€9.5 million) in humanitarian funding to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) in South Sudan to provide food and nutrition support to tens of thousands of people as hunger persists in the country.
- People in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan collect food from WFP (WFP/eter Testuzza Photo)
The contribution, the EU said in a statement, will provide life-saving food and nutrition assistance to more than 700,000 vulnerable people, including people who had to flee their homes, malnourished pregnant and nursing women, children under the age of five and refugees living in South Sudan.
Of this, it noted, 520,000 people will receive cash assistance to buy food and basic commodities from local markets, thereby allowing households to acquire what they need the most and helping rural economies by injecting much-needed cash into them.
“Millions of people in South Sudan need food assistance,” said Christos Stylianides, the EU’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, adding “With this aid package, we are helping the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.”
“We are very grateful to the European Union for this contribution which comes at a critical time,” said Ute Klamert, WFP Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships and Advocacy.
“Although the food security situation has slightly improved, there is an urgent need to continue providing life-saving support to people at risk of hunger. Food assistance saves lives and can help build communities’ resilience to allow them to sustain themselves in the future,” he added.
South Sudan’s food security situation remains dire with 4.5 million people reportedly needing food and nutrition support until the end of the year.
The latest funding brings to US$123.8 million (€113.6 million) the EU’s total contribution to WFP’s activities in South Sudan in the past five years.
South Sudan plunged into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused the country’s former vice-president Riek Machar of attempting a coup, allegations he dismissed.
In September last year, South Sudan’s arch-rivals signed a revitalized peace agreement to end the country’s civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million.