WFP warns over $400m funding shortfall in South Sudan

Michael Dunford, WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa

The UN World Food Program (WFP) is sounding the alarm over a staggering $400 million funding shortfall for humanitarian needs in South Sudan over the next six months.Michael Dunford, WFP’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa, held a press conference on Wednesday to emphasize the severity of the situation.Dunford declared, “Food needs in South Sudan are enormous, and due to inadequate funding, we are unable to efficiently provide essential food assistance to those in dire need.” He expressed deep concern about the expanding global needs, particularly in East African nations like Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan. “Unfortunately,” he lamented, “the funding we are receiving falls short of what’s required to address these pressing needs.”He went on to stress the painful choices ahead, stating, “We must prioritize who we can serve and acknowledge those we won’t be able to support. Regrettably, our capacity to reach vulnerable populations is diminishing. In the face of this challenge, WFP is grappling with a funding gap exceeding $400 million over the upcoming six months.”Dunford underlined the organization’s ongoing efforts to secure funding, but he also emphasized the importance of stability within the country. “It’s crucial that South Sudan’s situation stabilizes, empowering its people to meet their own needs without solely relying on WFP,” he noted.The Regional Director highlighted the untapped potential of South Sudan’s agriculture sector. “This nation could be a regional breadbasket, fostering prosperity through peace,” he remarked. He underscored the link between investments, agricultural growth, and the country’s ability to achieve its full potential.“Despite this potential, South Sudan’s agriculture sector is currently underperforming due to ongoing conflict, climate change impacts, and the lingering repercussions of Covid-19,” Dunford explained. He pointed to the devastating effects of floods and the ripple effects of conflict in neighbouring Sudan. “Addressing these challenges requires significant investment and strong governmental leadership to ensure food security in South Sudan.”Dunford also outlined plans to leverage the expertise of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) and the operational capabilities of WFP. “We need to harness the financial and technical resources of UNFAO and WFP to help South Sudan overcome its underproduction in the agriculture sector,” he stated.Source: Radio Tamzuj.

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