The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday that it has secured 10.7 million dollars to help roll back famine in South Sudan and also to assist hungry people in Horn of Africa countries hit by drought.
WFP Regional Director for East and Central Africa, Valerie Guarnieri, said the funds from the Danish government would assist people in South Sudan and support the drought response in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
WFP said the contribution would also feed South Sudanese refugees who have fled into Uganda.
Some of the contribution will help build longer-term food security and resilience.
The funds will help to rehabilitate a key supply road in Sudan along the northern corridor into South Sudan to supply assistance to 250,000 refugees and local people.
“Saving lives now, before any deeper deterioration, reduces both the human cost and financial cost, compared to intervening when it is too late and many people have perished,” Guarnieri said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
“If the international community does not act now, the drought in East Africa and the Horn could very easily end up being one of those silent disasters that cost thousands of lives,’’ Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tornaes said.
In north-western Kenya, Danish funding will help WFP respond to high malnutrition rates among the most vulnerable women and children under the age of five because of drought.
WFP said the contribution would support supplementary feeding for Ethiopian children under the age of five and pregnant and nursing women to combat malnutrition.
The remainder of the funds will help children and pregnant and nursing women in areas with critical malnutrition levels, it said.