UN agency pledges 57.8 million dollars in food aid to South Sudan

UN agency pledges 57.8 million dollars in food aid to South Sudan

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said Monday it is stepping up efforts to provide emergency food aid to conflict-stricken South Sudan, dpa reported.

The Rome-based organization pledged 57.8 million dollars to fund a three-month operation aimed at providing food aid to as many as 400,000 people displaced within South Sudan.

Despite the agency's efforts - which have helped at least 100,000 South Sudanese people thus far - food aid is being hampered by looting, said Valerie Guarnieri, WFP's East and Central Africa regional director.

"So far WFP estimates that 10 per cent of its food in the country has been looted - enough to feed some 180,000 people for a month," she said.

Separately, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched a 61-million-dollar fundraising appeal to provide longer-term agricultural aid to South Sudan.

"FAO's efforts are focused on getting seeds, livestock vaccines, fishing gear and other agricultural inputs, technologies and services to vulnerable rural and urban families," the organization said.

FAO voiced concerns about the worsening hunger crisis, saying that even before the recent clashes, the number of people estimated to be at risk of food insecurity in 2014 stood at 4.4 million - out of a total population of about 11 million.

The conflict in the world's youngest nation broke out in December, when mutinous soldiers loyal to former vice president Riek Machar rebelled against President Salva Kiir's government.

Thousands of people have been killed - and hundreds of thousands displaced - as a result of the violence.

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