World Food Programme Sudan operation gets UK funding boost

30 Nov 15

The UK is to give the World Food Programme’s operations in Sudan a £17.5m boost, it was announced today.

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World Food Programme aid

World Food Programme high-energy biscuit delivery. Credit: UN Photo/Logan Abassi

 

Three contributions will be made: to help South Sudanese people who have fled to Sudan; the WFP’s cash and food vouchers programme in the western Sudanese region Darfur; and the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service.

Chris Pycroft, head of the UK’s Department for International Development operation in Sudan, said there are “significant shortfalls” in the funding needed to address the country’s “great” humanitarian needs.

“This additional UK contribution will enable WFP to continue to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance effectively in ways that help the most vulnerable people,” he said.

Conflict, drought and poor harvests have pushed neighbouring South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011, to the brink of famine. Both China and the UK recently sent millions of dollars of funding to alleviate an increasingly dire humanitarian crisis.

The UK funding for the WFP will also support South Sudanese people who have fled across the border. Funding will support 640,000 people in Darfur, which hosts 1.8 million displaced people, with food vouchers that allow them to purchase food from local retailers.

A final contribution will enable the WFP to continue to operate UNHAS, which provides vital transportation via air around the country.

In July 2015, WFP launched a new two-year plan in Sudan to provide 5.2 million people with food assistance, nutrition support and recovery and resilience building activities by mid-2017.

But here and elsewhere in Africa, for example in Ethiopia where drought caused by climate phenomenon El-Niño means that more than 8 million people are in need of food assistance, the WFP has found itself facing massive funding gaps.

The same is true in the WFP’s Middle Eastern operations and the programme has had to massively scale back its activities in the countries neighbouring Syria. 

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