By Taban Philip
The Japanese government has donated the sum of $9 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to tackle food insecurity in South Sudan.
In a press release to the media on Wednesday, World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed the two contributions totaling around US $9 million, announced by the Government of Japan at a ceremony last week.
The funds are a timely contribution to resolve the hunger crisis in the country, which has left more than 7.74 million people severely food insecure, around 1.3 million children and 683,000 pregnant and lactating women, are expected to be malnourished this year.
Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, Tsutsumi Naohiro said he anticipates that the funds will aid in alleviating the suffering of the South Sudanese people.
“It is my hope that this Japanese food assistance will alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan and assist the country in pursuing development and prosperity. I am also hopeful that South Sudan will unleash its huge agricultural potential to increase food security for all its citizens in the future. Japan continues to support South Sudan’s efforts to this end,” TSUTSUMI Naohiro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Sudan said.
Meanwhile, WFP Acting Country Director in South Sudan, Makena Walker said the two generous grants come at a critical time when the unprecedented food insecurity situation in South Sudan is deteriorating even further.
“While humanitarian needs are increasing sharply across the region and globe, we are grateful to see that Japan is maintaining its attention and commitment to supporting the people of South Sudan,” he added.
The two contributions from the Government of Japan come at a time when widespread loss of livelihoods due to conflict and climate shocks have put millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance across the country.
The funding will support WFP’s emergency programmes with a special focus on vulnerable individuals or groups (women, men, girls and boys) in crisis-affected areas, as well as refugees and internally displaced populations.
The contributions will help support up to 300,000 people through 2022. The first grant of JPY400 million (approximately US$3 million) will be used to procure 1,500 metric tons of rice that will assist 41,500 people facing severe food insecurity.
The second contribution of US$6 million that has also been approved will enable WFP to procure cereals, oil, and pulses to assist around 234,000 people later in the year.