November 23, 2015 (JUBA) – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced it welcomed a contribution of $5 million from the government of the People’s Republic of China to support its emergency response to the deteriorating food security situation in South Sudan.

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Food is distributed at a refugee site in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state (Photo: WFP/Ahnna Gudmunds)

“China’s generosity comes at a crucial moment when we must support people who are on the brink of a hunger calamity in remote parts of the conflict-affected states,” said Joyce Luma, WFP Country Director in South Sudan, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“We are working around the clock with our partners to save lives, and this support from China helps address a critical need,” the statement said.

The contribution will be used to assist people in the conflict-affected states – Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei – where people rely heavily on humanitarian assistance.

WFP, it explained, will use the funds provided by the Chinese government to purchase cereals, pulses, oil and salt that will help meet the immediate food needs of vulnerable people in the states that have been most ravaged by fighting.

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis estimates that 3.9 million people face acute hunger in South Sudan, including about 30,000 people who are facing starvation in parts of Unity State that humanitarian agencies have struggled to reach for months.

WFP and its partners have assisted about 2.6 million people in South Sudan since the start of this year.

About 1.3 million of these people received life-saving food and nutrition assistance through the agency’s emergency operation, mainly in the states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity, as well as Protection of Civilians areas (PoCs).

Another 1.3 million people were assisted across the country through WFP’s relief and recovery operation, which supports people’s resilience-building activities and refugees in South Sudan.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries worldwide.

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