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WFP secures fund to help over 2mn food insecure people in South Sudan

Juba, Feb 18 (IANS) A contribution of $288.5 million from the American government, through the US Agency for International Development, will help support more than two million of the most food-insecure people in South Sudan with life-saving food and nutrition assistance through the 2023 lean season, the World Food Program (WFP) said.

“This generous contribution comes at a critical time as we race to dispatch food assistance to the most remote areas ahead of the lean season. Receiving funding in advance means we can act earlier to prevent families from falling into more severe levels of acute hunger when shocks strike,” Mary-Ellen McGroarty, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan, said in a statement.

South Sudan is facing one of its hungriest years since independence with 7.76 million people expected to be in crisis or worse levels of hunger, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

The lean season — the period between household food stocks running out and the next harvest — falls between April and August in South Sudan.

McGroarty said a fourth year of record flooding, rising costs of food and energy, and ongoing conflict are disrupting lives and livelihoods and threatening to push millions of families further into hunger.

As the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance grows, sustainable funding from donors is more critical than ever to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, read the statement.