By Deng Machol
Juba – The government of Japan has donated $6.5 million US dollar to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to mitigate food insecurity in the restive country.
The Government of Japan has funded food assistance to developing countries since 1968. Japan has supported WFP’s work in South Sudan since 2013, contributing more than US$35 million.
This latest contribution consists of US$4.5 million for life-saving food assistance to people who are severely food insecure and US$ 2 million to restore livelihoods and enhance resilience.
However, the WFP has welcomed contribution of US$6.5 million from the Government of Japan.
This contribution is timely at the start of the lean season when more than 7.2 million people in South Sudan are expected to face acute food shortages, said WFP in a press release today.
The WFP will use this contribution to support 115,000 people in Jonglei, Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Lakes States, where food insecurity has reached catastrophic levels due to continuing violence, two years of excessive flooding, displacement and the loss of livelihoods, livestock, infrastructure and homes that have left millions of people highly vulnerable and unable to provide for themselves.
“It is our sincere wish that Japan’s grant helps save the people from food insecurity accelerated by natural disaster, communal violence and displacement and bring those suffering people back to a normal living environment which is the precondition to pave the way to nation building and economic development in South Sudan,” said H.E. Tsutsumi Naohiro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Sudan, in the press statement seen by Pan African Visions.
The contribution will also support WFP’s livelihoods and resilience-building programmes, which include creation of community assets such as access roads and multi-purpose water points.
These communal assets are geared towards improving families’ access to local markets to sell their produce and purchase food and other essentials, as well as their access to clean water.
“We are grateful to Japan for this timely contribution at a time when food needs are the greatest but funding for humanitarian assistance is dwindling because of the economic impact of COVID-19. This noble gesture demonstrates the government of Japan’s commitment towards alleviating suffering and contributing to peace in South Sudan,” said Matthew Hollingworth, WFP’s Country Director in South Sudan. “It is a great boost towards our saving lives and changing lives efforts.”
The country’s five year conflict has taken a heavy toll on the oil – rich nation’s economy and investment, founded 10 years ago after two decades of civil war.
It has also blighted by the impact of COVID-19 and unprecedented floods on the lives of the vulnerable locals.