US pumps $223M for food assistance in South Sudan

US pumps $223M for food assistance in South Sudan
WFP volunteers distributing food to families affected by hunger in South Sudan. [Phto: WFP]

​The United State government, through its embassy in Juba, is expected to announce supplemental funding of $223 million to the South Sudan’s World Food Programme (WFP).

The funds will go in supporting food assistance.

The 223 million US dollars will be announced on Thursday by the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires William Flens and Mark Anthony White, Acting USAID South Sudan Mission.

The WFP last June withdrew funding for humanitarian assistance citing lack of donor support.

Almost one-third of South Sudan’s population depends on humanitarian assistance.

Over 60 per cent of the population is grappling with severe food insecurity during the lean season, fuelled by continuing conflict, severe flooding, localized drought, and soaring food prices exacerbated by the crisis in Ukraine.

“We are extremely concerned about the impact of the funding cuts on children, women, and men who will not have enough to eat during the lean season.” These families have completely exhausted their coping strategies.

“They need immediate humanitarian assistance to put food on the table in the short-term and to rebuild their livelihoods and resilience to cope with future shocks, “said Adeyinka Badejo, Acting Country Director of the World Food Programme in South Sudan.

WFP had exhausted all options before suspending food assistance, including halving rations in 2021, leaving families in need with less food to eat.

According to the acting country director, the WFP would need $426 million to reach six million people who are food insecure by 2022.

South Sudan’s food insecurity is at an all-time high in 2022.

“According to the most recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment, 7.74 million people would experience severe acute hunger during the lean season, which runs from June to August, and 1.4 million children will be critically malnourished.