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Danish Funding Supports Vulnerable People In Horn Of Africa Drought And South Sudan

NAIROBI – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a US$10.7 million (75 million Danish Krone) contribution from the Government of Denmark to help roll back famine in South Sudan and to assist hungry people in Horn of Africa countries hit by drought.

“WFP is very grateful to Denmark for helping to sustain the life-saving response against drought in the Horn and because of conflict in South Sudan, where famine was declared in two areas in February,” said Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Regional Director for East and Central Africa.  

“Saving lives now, before any deeper deterioration, reduces both the human cost and financial cost, compared to intervening when it is too late and many people have perished,” she added.

“If the international community does not act now, the drought in East Africa and the Horn could very easily end up being one of those silent disasters that cost thousands of lives,” said Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs.

“This is why Denmark is acting now, in Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya where the governments are taking the lead and more is needed to support them,” she added.

The contribution will assist people in South Sudan and support the drought response in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. It will also feed South Sudanese refugees who have fled into Uganda. Some of the contribution will help build longer-term food security and resilience.

The Danish funds will help to rehabilitate a key supply road in Sudan along the northern corridor into South Sudan to supply assistance to 250,000 refugees and local people.

In Somalia, the Danish funds will help provide immediate support to vulnerable people through cash-based transfers in drought-affected areas of the country so that families can buy the food of their choice using electronic vouchers at retailers with agreements with WFP.

In Ethiopia, the contribution will support supplementary feeding for children under the age of five and pregnant and nursing women to combat malnutrition. The remainder of the funds will help children and pregnant and nursing women in areas with critical malnutrition levels.

In northwestern Kenya, Danish funding will help WFP respond to high malnutrition rates among the most vulnerable women and children under the age of five because of drought.

In 2016, Denmark was the 13th largest government donor to WFP and WFP’s fourth largest donor of flexible funds that allow WFP to respond fast and effectively to disasters, providing life-saving food assistance to millions of people, and to reach those who are left furthest behind.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Anne Poulsen, WFP/Copenhagen, Tel. +45 4533 5351, Mob. +45 4050 3993
Challiss McDonough, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. +254 20 762 2179, Mob. +254 707 722 104
Caroline Hurford, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 066513 2330, Mob. +39 348 132 5018