KHARTOUM (Sudan Tribune) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of £3 million
(approximately US$3.7 million) from the Government of the United Kingdom to respond to the critical needs of more than 164,000 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan.
WFP will use the funds to purchase sorghum, a South Sudanese staple, that will be included in the food assistance it provides to South Sudanese refugees in the border states of White Nile; North, South and West Kordofan; East, North and South Darfur. WFP is buying the sorghum locally to support farmers and agricultural production.
“The UK Government remains concerned about the South Sudanese refugee crisis and the vulnerable women and children who are affected by food insecurity and displacement,” said Christopher Pycroft, Head of the UK Department for Development (DFID) in Sudan. “We are committed to responding and assisting refugees in Sudan. To date, the UK Government has contributed nearly £16 million to the refugee response. We will continue to monitor the ongoing crisis and provide support as needed.”
The UK has been a major donor to WFP in Sudan for years, contributing a total of £65.7 million (around US$81 million) in the past five years, enabling WFP to assist vulnerable groups and people who are food insecure across the country.
In addition, the UK is a leading contributor to WFP Sudan’s continuing use of innovative and sustainable solutions to end hunger. Since 2013, DFID has contributed over £52 million to the WFP cash and voucher programme in Sudan. Launched in 2009 in eastern and central Sudan, this programme has expanded to the Darfur region where it currently supports more than half a million displaced people who exchange the vouchers for their choice of food items at 180 local shops.
Thanks to DFID’s support, WFP has also successfully introduced electronic voucher technology in Darfur, supporting more than 30,000 displaced people living in Otash Camp in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.
“We are grateful to the UK for supporting our operations in Sudan, thus enabling us to tailor our response to the needs of the people we assist,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Matthew Hollingworth. “This particular contribution will help ensure that the South Sudanese refugees who have come to Sudan will not go hungry.”
Sudan is one of WFP’s most complex emergencies, with recurring conflict, new and protracted displacement and crisis levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. During 2016, WFP planned to assist 4.6 million vulnerable people in Sudan through a mix of activities, including emergency food and cash-based transfers, nutritional support and resilience-building activities to help communities become self-reliant.