FAO, WFP face funding gap
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) are facing a funding gap of around USD 182 million for the next six months in order to curtail crisis around the World that include South Sudan, according to FAO and WFP officials.
The head of WFP, David Beasley and FAO José Graziano da Silva have urged all the parties to the conflict to stop violence and work together to ensure that food and other lifesaving support reach people to end famine.
“Together, FAO and WFP face a funding gap of around $182 million for the next six months, and are struggling to raise funds to meet the crises around the world. “Donors have supported South Sudan over many years,” said Beasley in the press release extended to Juba Monitor yesterday.
“WFP will continue to stand by the people of South Sudan in their time of need. But times are tight, with so many crises around the world demanding attention and support. South Sudan’s leaders must show good faith by facilitating humanitarian efforts, including getting rid of unnecessary fees and procedures that delay and hinder aid,” he added.
FAO’s José Graziano da Silva and WFP’s David Beasley made the appeal during a visit to the former Unity State, one of the areas worst hit by the current hunger crisis.
Around 5.5 million people, almost half the population face severe hunger, not knowing where their next meal is coming from ahead of the lean season, which peaks in July. Of these around one million people are on the brink of famine.
According to FAO and WFP of these 5.5 million, more than 90,000 South Sudanese face starvation with famine declared in parts of former Unity State. This unprecedented situation reflects the impact of ongoing strife, obstacles to delivering humanitarian assistance and declining agricultural production.
Graziano da Silva and Beasley stressed that an immediate massive response is critical, combining emergency food assistance and support for agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
“Despite the appalling conditions it is not too late to save more people from dying. We can still avoid the worsening disaster, but the fighting has to stop now. There can be no progress without peace. People must be given immediate access to food and farmers need to be allowed to work on their fields and tend to their livestock,” Graziano da Silva said.
“Saving livelihoods also saves lives, South Sudan has great potential – it has land, water and courageous people. If it also has peace, then together we can work to end hunger,” she added.
By Kidega Livingstone