Nearly a week after the World Food Program (WFP) was forced to cut rations to refugees and internally displaced people in South Sudan due to funding gaps, the Unites States has stepped in with aid worth USD 345 million through U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance.

According to USAID, his funding includes more than USD 52 million from USAID and nearly USD 43 million from the U.S. Department of State. “This life-saving assistance will also support people who are internally displaced, as well as South Sudanese refugees in host communities in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said USAID in a statement.

According to a statement released by WFP, “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 WFP and enable the transport of aid workers and relief materials across South Sudan.”

“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 WFP 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 WFP to pre-position food stocks for the lean season when humanitarian access is more challenging,” he added.   

WFP’s food assistance includes rations such as cereals, pulses, 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.

*Feature image courtesy WFP South Sudan via Twitter.