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Sat. May 25th, 2024

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a new pledge by the European Union (EU) of €117 million for the humanitarian response in war-torn Sudan, as well as an additional €185 million to respond to the impact of the crisis in neighbouring countries.

This comes as WFP scales up operations to avert risks of a humanitarian catastrophe.

“Amid escalating conflict and rising hunger, sufficient funding is critical to meet increasing humanitarian needs. We are extremely grateful to the EU for their contribution, which helped us save lives during this crisis,” WFP Sudan Country Director and Representative Eddie Rowe said in a statement.

WFP said with the support provided by the EU, it has been able to provide emergency food assistance to nearly 6.4 million people, of which around 550,000 people received cash, since the conflict erupted in Sudan just over one year ago.

“This was in part made possible with a EUR €28 million contribution from the EU Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) in 2023. The aid agency also used this funding to help treat and prevent malnutrition for 260,000 children and pregnant or nursing women,” partly reads the WFP statement.

WFP has been warning that Sudan could become the world’s largest hunger crisis during the upcoming lean season, which starts in May and lasts through October.

Currently, during the harvest season, a record 17.7 million people already face acute food insecurity, while almost five million people are just one step away from starvation.

The food security situation is expected to worsen even further in the coming months unless urgent action is taken to support those facing the highest levels of hunger.

WFP points out that in 2024, the EU has mobilized an initial amount of €117 million for the humanitarian response in Sudan, as well as an additional €185 million to respond to the impact of the crisis in neighbouring countries.

This new amount comes on top of the European Commission’s humanitarian funding for Sudan in 2023, which totalled €128 million.

“As WFP works to scale up its operations to avert the risk of a humanitarian catastrophe, the support of partners such as the EU, one of our most generous partners in Sudan, remains critical to WFP’s efforts,” the statement stressed.

At last month’s conference in Paris, the European Commission committed €355 million in both humanitarian and development funding for Sudan and its neighbours. The total EU support to Sudan at the event reached €896 million.

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