The European Commission has just signed two major contracts with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), totalling €14 million, to deliver vitally needed food assistance
and facilitate the movement of humanitarian cargo in South Sudan
. The contribution will help approximately 1.7 million people.
"The world's youngest country is on the brink of a famine because of fighting and a failed harvest. The numbers of people affected are frightening: almost seven million people are at risk of hunger. By signing these contracts now with the WFP, our biggest partner in food aid, we will save the lives of many South Sudanese people" said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.
Humanitarian funding for the South Sudan crisis from the EU stands at €208.5 million in 2014, of which almost half comes directly from the European Commission and the rest from EU Member States.
The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is critical ever since armed violence broke in December 2013. In addition to an increasing number of people suffering from food insecurity, over 1.5 million South Sudanese have been displaced within and outside the country, making this a regional crisis.
In addition to funding humanitarian aid, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) maintains a team of humanitarian experts on the ground for monitoring the situation, assessing needs and overseeing the use of EU funds.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide and serves as ECHO's main partner for providing food assistance around the world.