European Union provides critical support as WFP faces unprecedented funding shortages in Sudan
Khartoum – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a EUR 10 million contribution from the European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) for life-saving food assistance in Sudan, in addition to EUR 13 million received at the beginning of 2021.
This funding comes at a critical time with humanitarian needs in Sudan expected to reach an all-time high in 2022. WFP is facing an unprecedented funding shortfall of US $358 million to maintain operations in Sudan over the next six months, which includes prepositioning food ahead of the rainy season.
“The support from the EU could not have come at a more crucial moment, as WFP urgently needs to increase its assistance to meet the basic food needs of more than 9 million people in the coming year,” said Marianne Ward, Acting WFP Representative and Country Director in Sudan.
“We are extremely grateful for this contribution, but additional resources from other partners are critical. The needs are enormous and food stocks and cash are likely to run out starting early next year. Time is running out to get food delivered to some of the most remote areas which will become inaccessible during the rainy season,” she concluded.
An estimated 10.9 million people in need of urgent food security or livelihoods assistance, including 1.1 million refugees. Essentially, one in four people in Sudan are facing an alarming food crisis. Across the country, an average of 13.6 percent of children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition. In some areas, the prevalence of global acute malnutrition is as high as 30 percent or above – catastrophic levels according to WHO.
Wim Fransen, Head of ECHO Country Office in Sudan, said: “We are stepping up humanitarian support for those most in need in Sudan. In 2021 humanitarian needs in Sudan continued to grow, due to a protracted economic crisis, exacerbated by COVID-19, as well as increased insecurity and inter-communal violence, coupled with floods, disease outbreaks and an influx of refugees and asylum seekers. In addition, the political uncertainty has deepened the food crisis in the country”.
While international donor partners, like the EU, have so far stepped up and committed more than before to WFP’s response in Sudan, WFP is being forced to reduce aid or suspend certain activities as funding levels are not keeping pace with the rising humanitarian needs in 2022.
In 2021, the EU also contributed EUR 3.5 million to the WFP-managed UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Sudan, which has enabled WFP to transport over 21,000 humanitarian passengers to 38 hard-to-reach locations to provide life-saving services over the past year.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid
The EU – Member States and EU institutions collectively – is among the leading donors of humanitarian aid in the world. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural and human-induced disasters and crises.
Through the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU assists the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.