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Brussels, 7 June 2010

Commission provides €46 million to the World Food Programme to address urgent humanitarian needs in Sudan

Today, in Rome the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, and the Executive director of the World Food Program (WFP) Josette Sheeran presented this year's largest funding agreement between the European Commission and the World Food Programme (WFP). The €46 million agreement announced today will be used to provide immediate food assistance for the populations in Darfur and Southern Sudan.

Commissioner Georgieva, who participated in a meeting of the executive board of the WFP said after the official announcement: “Humanitarian needs have increased dramatically in Sudan, so additional funding is vital. I am deeply concerned about the situation of civilians affected by the recent fighting in some areas of South Darfur, particularly Jebel Marra, and parts of West Darfur. Several thousands of people have been displaced and urgently need our assistance and, worryingly, humanitarian agencies have no access to them.

The Executive director of the World Food Program (WFP) Josette Sheeran said: "This contribution comes at the start of the hunger season in Sudan, when food stocks are low and WFP needs to build up supplies to meet the nutritional needs of millions of hungry Sudanese people," said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Programme. "This generous donation advances WFP's critical partnership with Europe in protecting Sudan's most vulnerable people. Make no mistake this contribution will directly help save lives."


The Commission’s main objective is to save lives and support livelihoods in the conflict-affected areas of Sudan. ECHO funding is destined for programmes primarily targeting nutritionally vulnerable women and children, internally displaced people and drought-affected populations. The aid will primarily be used to support general food distributions and to provide supplementary feeding rations. This contribution will enable the WFP to restock its warehouses and to reach out to the more than 4 million people in Darfur and 4.3 million people in South Sudan who are in desperate need of food assistance.

ECHO’s allocation of €46 million is part of its 2010 Global Plan for Sudan, worth €114 million.

The humanitarian crisis in Sudan remains complex as internal and cross-border conflicts persist, leaving the population increasingly vulnerable to food insecurity. In Darfur millions of people remain dependent on humanitarian food assistance as sporadic fighting continues to threaten the prospects of recovery and development in the region.

In Darfur, the ongoing effort by the humanitarian community to bring relief to millions of people (internally displaced, local villagers and nomads) faces enormous challenges. Access to people in need by aid workers has become ever more hazardous because of a general lack of security in the area.

In Southern Sudan, political and ethnic tensions have led to an upsurge of violent conflicts, threatening the relative peace experienced in the region since the end of an over two decades-long civil war in 2005.

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