Photo: WFP/Theresa Piorr

United States Funding Helps WFP Reach Millions of People in South Sudan

Published April 16, 2021

JUBA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes contributions totaling $345 million from the United States through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance to support U.N. World Food Programme food assistance in South Sudan, where rising food insecurity has pushed 60 percent of the population into hunger and poverty.

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment this year warns that 7.24 million people will face severe acute hunger at the height of the lean season in July, while 1.4 million children will be acutely malnourished. Unprecedented floods, the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of the poorest people and increased conflict over the last two years have taken their toll on what is the world’s youngest country.

The contributions provide relief to extremely vulnerable families living in emergency or catastrophic levels of hunger and in dire need of immediate food and nutrition assistance. The U.N. World Food Programme will also utilize the U.S. funding to scale up its livelihoods and resilience-building activities, enabling the South Sudanese people to build their own future.

“This funding from our biggest donor, USAID, comes at a very critical time when funding is scarce and needs are enormous,” said Matthew Hollingworth, Representative and Country Director of U.N. World Food Programme in South Sudan.

“WFP relies on predictable funding, which enables us to plan ahead to prevent the kind of alarming conditions that precede famine by covering the pressing needs of the most food-insecure communities. These funds will also help the U.N. World Food Programme to pre-position food stocks for the lean season when humanitarian access is more challenging,” he added.

In the May to November rainy season, more than half the roads in South Sudan are inaccessible for over six months, making land transport impossible. The U.N. World Food Programme relies on timely donor funding to pre-position lifesaving food assistance ahead of the rains to reach the most vulnerable in the remotest locations in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Part of the USAID contributions, confirmed between October 2020 to March 2021, is used to assist the rest of the humanitarian community in South Sudan through the UN Humanitarian Air Service and Logistics Cluster which are managed by the U.N. World Food Programme and enable the transport of aid workers and relief materials across South Sudan.

The U.N. World Food Programme food assistance includes rations such as cereals, grains, oil and salt to ensure a nutritious and diversified diet, as well as specialized nutrition products to support mothers and children. Livelihoods assistance consists of projects such as vegetable gardens, which enable people to grow their own food and generate income by selling excess produce.

Despite generous contributions from donors, funding shortages remain a reality in South Sudan, where humanitarian needs outpace the aid response. The U.N. World Food Programme was forced to cut food rations this April, affecting 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people who now receive 50 percent of a full ration, down from 70 percent.

For the next six months, the U.N. World Food Programme requires $125 million to provide lifesaving food assistance in sufficient quantities to crisis-affected people, including increased rations to refugees and internally displaced people.

The United States Government is a long-standing partner and the largest donor of the U.N. World Food Programme in South Sudan. The U.N. World Food Programme has already begun using the funds from the latest contributions in the past months to ensure the continuity of our operations to reach those who are the furthest behind.

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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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