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U.S gov’t announces over $220m in food aid to S. Sudan

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Thursday, August 4, 2022

Relief food seen one of the USAID stores in Juba, South Sudan, August 4, 2022 - Photo Credit: US Embassy

The United States government has announced a financial contribution of $223 million in food assistance to millions of people in South Sudan.

The U.S. government through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance says it donated to WFP about $106 million for the delivery of immediate support for 2.4 million severely food insecure populations.

The support covers lifesaving food and nutrition assistance as well as cash support.

The second contribution of the US government‘s Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust will provide WFP with in-kind food assistance worth of $117 million.

These include sorghum, vegetable oil, and nutritious food for infants under five years of age and pregnant or nursing mothers.

“This contribution will help avert famine and build resilience in some of the vulnerable communities in the country. Let there be no doubt this contribution will save lives at the critical time so many people are in food security need,” said William Flens, the US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires.

Since 2011, the country has and continues to witness the worst food crisis due to conflicts, persistent floods, drought and the impact of global food and fuel crisis.

For her part, the Vice President for Gender, Youth, and Humanitarian Custer Rebecca Nyadeng welcomed the US support to vulnerable communities in the country.

“I applaud the US government for this generous and critical contribution. South Sudan is already facing unprecedented humanitarian needs and the situation is likely to deteriorate even further with the impact of the global food crisis,”   VP Nyandeng said.

William Flens, US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires (R) Vice President Rebecca Nyadeng Second (R), WFP Regional Director for Eastern Africa Michael Anthony White, second L and the WFP acting Country Director Ms. Adeyinka Badejo posed for a group photo in Juba on 4th August 2022. Credit: Charles Wote/Eye Radio

In June this year, the World Food Program suspended food assistance to South Sudan due to insufficient funding.

The UN food agency said it had exhausted all options before suspending food assistance, including halving rations in 2021, leaving families in need with less food to eat.

WFP said its crisis response and resilience-building development programs were drastically underfunded this year and required 426 million dollars to reach six million food-insecure people this year.

Meanwhile, speaking during the announcement of the new funding, WFP acting Country Director Adeyinka Badejo said they have reverted their earlier decision.

“In April 2022 due to funding gaps, WPF had to take a very difficult decision to cut food assistance to almost 2 million people that rely on our support. This decision was not taken lightly. Thanks to these new contributions,” said Adeyinka Badejo of WFP.

“We are now in a position to resume assistance to some of these people, particularly nutritious food support to women and children.”

South Sudan continues to face a dire humanitarian situation with more than half of its population being food insecure.

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