SUDAN: US MAKES SUBSTANTIAL DONATION TO WFP'S DARFUR OPERATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States has donated more than US$28 million to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to help feed families fleeing the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan.
The donation, the second large-scale contribution from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will help WFP feed more than one million Sudanese living in desolate camps spread across a region as large as Texas.
The donation means WFP's emergency appeal for US$195 million for Darfur is a little over 50 percent resourced.
The US also provided another US$2.3 million to help feed Sudanese refugees who have fled to neighboring Chad.
"We are extremely grateful for this generous contribution from the US government," said Judith Lewis, US Relations Director for WFP. "The people of the United States continue to reach out and support those families most in need around the globe. We are confronting a humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region and quickly getting food to vulnerable women and children is our top priority."
In addition to the financial support, Lewis noted that the US government has been a leader and critical advocate in support of humanitarian assistance for the families who have been forced to flee their homes in Darfur.
In the last few weeks, increased access to displaced populations in Darfur has revealed a grim reality. Recent nutrition surveys among the displaced population have indicated alarming levels of malnutrition, particularly among children under the age of five. When malnutrition levels reach 15 percent, a nutritional emergency is declared; current surveys show rates of between 21 and 33 percent.
"For many children, this food could well mean the difference between life and death," said Lewis. "These are crucial supplies. We are racing against time and circumstances to reach at least one million people in desperate need of help."
WFP currently has access to 119 of the 147 camps in Darfur, and plans to assist over one million people each month until October, when the agency will increase its food assistance to reach a total of two million people until December.
Limited access and insecurity have been major obstacles to providing humanitarian assistance to those displaced by the on-going conflict between the Sudanese Government and rebel forces over the last 15 months.
In July, WFP was able to reach over 950,000 people with food supplies. However, many thousands more are known to be in need and in a bid to reach as many of them as possible, WFP begin air-dropping food supplies into areas cut off by heavy rains and insecurity on August 1.
To date, the US government has donated US$74 million for feeding operations in Darfur, while providing an additional US$12 million to help feed Sudanese refugees who have fled to Chad. The new US$28.2 million donation for Darfur will consist of sorghum, corn-soya blend, lentils, yellow split peas and vegetable oil.
Overall, WFP has received US$103 million towards its US$195 million emergency appeal for 1.2 million displaced Sudanese people. Donors include the United States (US$74.3 million), the European Commission (US$4.6 million), Australia (US$3.1 million), Japan (US$3 million), the United Kingdom (US$3 million), Canada (US$2.9 million), Denmark (US$2.1 million), Germany (US$1.6), France (US$1.2 million), Belgium (US$1.2 million), Ireland (US$1.2 million), Spain (US$1.1 million), Norway (US$900,000), the Netherlands (US$550,000), New Zealand (US$600,000), Finland (US$600,000), Switzerland (US$400,000) and Luxembourg (US$100,000). The Netherlands has also donated US$4.4 million towards the US$36 million required for logistics for the operation.
Note to Editors: If you are listing organizations to which your readers can donate, please include our website for online contributions and a source of further information on the unfolding crisis. www.wfp.org
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: in 2003 we gave food aid to a record 104 million people in 81 countries, including 56 million hungry children.
Deputy Director Communications