PORT SUDAN – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the arrival of a ship carrying 47,250 metric tons of sorghum -- enough food to feed 1.7 million people for three months – donated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The food will be used particularly in the conflict-affected region of Darfur, where WFP is assisting more than 3 million people, including some 300,000 displaced by fighting in recent months.
“The people of the United States remain committed to helping people in need in Sudan with life-saving food and other assistance,” said US Embassy Acting Chargé d’Affaires Christopher Rowan, who flew to Port Sudan in Red Sea State with WFP Country Director Adnan Khan to witness the arrival of the ship as well as review WFP logistics activities there.
The sorghum represents the bulk of the US$ 164 million contribution committed by USAID to WFP Sudan for 2014. Of this, US$ 92.5 million was released in July 2013, enabling WFP to respond to a new wave of displacement in Darfur as well as pre-position food in remote locations in South Kordofan and White Nile States ahead of the rainy season.
Altogether the U.S. contributions consisted of 145,000 metric tons of sorghum, 12,510 metric tons of yellow split peas and 4,400 metric tons of vegetable oil. The total contribution comprises 43 percent of WFP Sudan’s annual requirements for 2014.
In addition to food, the United States has contributed US$4.8 million through USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance to support the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, which is managed by WFP and provides passenger and small cargo services to the humanitarian community across Sudan.
“Since the early 1960s, the United States has been WFP’s long-standing partner in Sudan. Their continuing support has helped us to provide life-saving food to those affected by conflict, to maintain food security and to build resilience among communities. And this contribution will enable us to help over 4 million vulnerable people cope with the approaching hunger season,” said WFP’s Adnan Khan.
Sudan remains one of WFP’s largest and most complex operations. In 2014, WFP plans to reach 4.1 million people across Sudan, of whom 3.1 million are in Darfur. Since February this year, a new wave of violence has spread across parts of Darfur, displacing over 300,000 people and ratcheting up needs in the region. The continuing conflict has forced thousands of South Sudanese to flee their homes and seek temporary refuge elsewhere in Sudan.
“We are acutely aware of the growing needs created by new displacements in Darfur, the conflict in South Sudan, as well as that in the Central African Republic – where, in the coming days, we plan to loan some 800 metric tons of food from Sudan to two towns to respond to urgent needs. We are confident we can act - thanks to the support of donors like the United States,” said Khan.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.
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Abdulaziz Abdulmomin, WFP/Khartoum, Tel. +249 183248001 (ext. 2123), Mob. +249 912167055