JUBA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says that during 2016, funding from the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has been critical to WFP’s support for hundreds of thousands of people affected by conflict in South Sudan.
Over the past year, ECHO has contributed more than US$27 million to WFP in South Sudan, bringing immediate food and nutrition assistance to people facing acute hunger as well as supporting the effective and efficient transport and delivery of humanitarian relief supplies throughout the country.
“ECHO’s support has helped us reach people who would otherwise have gone hungry,” said Joyce Luma, WFP’s Representative and Country Director. “Our strong partnership with ECHO is helping save lives in South Sudan.”
With ECHO funding, WFP has assisted internally displaced people living in UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites and other conflict-affected locations, as well as providing food and nutrition support to communities across the country who have been badly affected by three years of conflict and prolonged food shortages.
More than 3.6 million people in South Sudan – over a third of the population – are severely food insecure. Malnutrition is above emergency levels in seven out of 10 states, and nearly twice the emergency threshold in two states, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity. The situation could deteriorate further in the first quarter of 2017, when about 4.6 million people are expected to face acute hunger.
ECHO funding allowed WFP to purchase sorghum and vegetable oil for three months’ worth of life-saving food assistance for about 300,000 people, and to buy specialized nutritional treatments for about 84,000 young children and 35,000 pregnant and nursing women.
In addition to food and nutrition assistance, ECHO also provided US$2.8 million for the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by WFP, to provide safe and reliable passenger air transport for humanitarians in a country where the road network is notoriously poor. An additional US$1.7 million supported the WFP-managed Logistics Cluster, which coordinates and moves relief supplies of all types on behalf of the entire humanitarian community in South Sudan.
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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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