EU donates over $13 million in food aid to South Sudan
JUBA – The European Union has donated $13.8 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) South Sudan to mitigate the hunger crisis that could be facing over three million people.
“The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is grateful for an additional contribution of €11.6 million from the European Union (EU) to provide emergency food assistance to 3.9 million people at risk of famine in South Sudan this year,’’ the UN agency stated in a press release yesterday.
Matthew Hollingworth, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan, empathized with the families that had been displaced due to tensions and the ongoing flooding that continues to create a crisis.
“Families trying to survive in remote areas are already experiencing catastrophic hunger in South Sudan, with pockets of the population facing famine-like conditions. Food insecurity in the country is now at its highest-ever levels,” Hollingworth was quoted in the press release to have said.
“The funds from the European Union have helped us ensure that no one is left behind.”
Olivier Beucher, Head of the EU Humanitarian Aid Office in Juba said: “Communities in South Sudan are facing a critical food shortage.
“We continue to support partners such as WFP in order to provide life-saving food assistance to the most vulnerable people suffering the effects of conflict, major flooding, and COVID-19.”
The donation signals an increase in the total amount the EU allocated to the WFP from $8.8 million to $21.8 million.
“The European Union is a long-standing partner of WFP in South Sudan, supporting both its emergency and development work. The EU, through humanitarian and development funding, has contributed €107 million to WFP’s operations in the country since 2017,’’ WFP stated.
The latest data by the UNCHR reveals that there are 4.3 million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in South Sudan. Of this number, 63 percent of the victims are children. 1.6 million South Sudanese reside outside the country as refugees while Uganda and South Sudan are hosting 800,000 IDPs.
In January, the UN released a report that approximately 7 million victims of war and natural calamities in South Sudan would require humanitarian assistance.
This number seems to have grown since the clashes erupted in Tombura County, forcing residents to flee and seek refuge in Yambio County, Eastern Equatoria State.
Nonetheless, the government has increased the efforts to route for the repatriation of refugees with President Salva Kiir taking a leading role in persuading the humanitarian bodies to come up with a formula that would be appealing to the returnees.