SOUTH SUDAN – The Chinese government has donated US$7 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to boost the agencies efforts in boosting food and nutrition aid in South Sudan.
The funding will support the country in boosting food security in a country where drought and political climate has left approximately 5 million people in need of food assistance.
According to WFP, the contribution will allow it to purchase rice, pulses and other commodities for use in school meals and general food rations to more than 126,000 people in areas most affected by conflict and food insecurity.
“China will stand with the people of South Sudan at this time of food crisis,” said H.E. He Xiangdong, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan.
“This new contribution is part of our commitment to support the efforts by the Government of South Sudan and humanitarian agencies to provide adequate food to South Sudanese facing hunger.”
WFP said supported about 5 million crisis-affected and vulnerable people in South Sudan in 2018 with 259,000 metric tons of food and US$24.5 million in cash transfers.
According to reports, food assistance needs in the country have continued to increase with 5.2 million expected to be severely food insecure between January and March 2019.
The situation is compounded by possible return of South Sudanese refugees from neighbouring countries, expected to increase assistance needs.
WFP appealed for more funding to the tune of US$179 million to ensure continued assistance for the first six months of 2019 and preposition food in remote locations in South Sudan.
“The Chinese contribution came at a critical time when WFP is appealing for more resources to respond to increasing needs,” said Adnan Khan, WFP Country Director. “In particular, the support to our school meals activity is an invaluable investment in the next generation and the country’s overall development.”
In the years 2015 and 2017, China made significant contribution to S. Sudan’s food situation, enabling WFP to purchase about 4,600 metric tons of food that covered emergency food rations to about 290,000 people.