The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a $7 million contribution from China to bolster its food and nutrition assistance in South Sudan where about 5 million people are unable to meet their food needs.
The contribution will enable WFP to purchase rice, pulses and other commodities that will be used to provide 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 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,” he added in a statement issued in Nairobi on Thursday, 3 January 2019.
In 2018, WFP has supported about 5 million crisis-affected and vulnerable people in South Sudan with 259,000 metric tons of food and US$24.5 million in cash transfers.
However, food assistance needs have continued to increase with 5.2 million expected to be severely food insecure between January and March 2019, according to latest food security assessments.
With a possible return of South Sudanese refugees from neighbouring countries, there are fears that needs are expected to increase—further stretching WFP’s available resources.
“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.