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Japan donates $8.4m to fight hunger in South Sudan: WFP

People in conflict-affected areas of South Sudan collect food from WFP (WFP/eter Testuzza Photo)
JUBA – The Japan will provide about $8.4 million in support to World Food Programme (WFP) emergency response and the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in South Sudan.

South Sudan is among four countries hit by starvation, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called to support to prevent millions of people from dying.

Japan has allocated approximately US$7.4 million to the emergency operation in response to the famine in the country. The remaining amount of the announced $8.4 million will go the UNHAS which provides a vital air transport and cargo service for aid workers.

WFP will use the funds to purchase more than 24,000 bags of sorghum, which will ensure the provision of food assistance to more than 17,000 people for three months, said the WFP.

"In addition, the funds will be used to sustain WFP nutrition support with fortified nutritious foods for three months for 26,000 mothers and 37,000 children facing acute malnutrition," the statement said.

More than three years after the start of South Sudanese crisis in December 2013; millions of people are affected by the armed conflict in the east African nation.

The UN agencies say they need USD 781.8 million but received only USD 47.9 million (6%).

“Japan’s assistance in food distribution through WFP may be a drop in the ocean, but we stand behind the international efforts to uplift people to minimum nutrition standards,” said Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan Kiya Masahiko.

However the head of WFP South Sudan, Haken Falkell thanked the Japanese government for its support saying it "comes at a time when hunger is a dangerous reality for nearly half of South Sudan’s population after more than three years of conflict”.

(ST)