8 ott – The European Union (EU) is providing US$10.4 million (€9.5 million) in humanitarian funding to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) in South Sudan to provide food and nutrition support to tens of thousands of people as hunger persists in the country.

The contribution will provide life-saving food and nutrition assistance to more than 700,000 vulnerable people, including people who had to flee their homes, malnourished pregnant and nursing women, children under the age of five and refugees living in South Sudan. Of this, 520,000 people will receive cash assistance to buy food and basic commodities from local markets, thereby allowing households to acquire what they need the most and helping rural economies by injecting much-needed cash into them.

“Millions of people in South Sudan need food assistance,” said Christos Stylianides, the European Union’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. “With this aid package, we are helping the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.”

“We are very grateful to the European Union for this contribution which comes at a critical time,” said Ute Klamert, WFP Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships & Advocacy. “Although the food security situation has slightly improved, there is an urgent need to continue providing life-saving support to people at risk of hunger. Food assistance saves lives and can help build communities’ resilience to allow them to sustain themselves in the future.”

South Sudan’s food security situation remains dire with 4.5 million people needing food and nutrition support until the end of the year. The number of people in need is projected to go up to 5.5 million people from January 2020. January and following months are the time of the year when households face additional hardship as food reserves from their subsistence farming start to deplete.

The European Union is a long-standing partner of WFP assistance in South Sudan. The latest funding brings the European Union’s total contribution to WFP’s activities in South Sudan to US$123.8 million (€113.6 million) in the past five years.