The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a contribution of GBP 3 million from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) for its cash and voucher assistance programme supporting conflict-affected communities in Sudan.
WFP plans to use GBP 2 million to support 220,000 displaced people across Darfur with vouchers for four months, helping them to purchase a wide variety of food items from local shops. The remaining GBP 1 million will be used to top up a contribution of GBP 2.2 million that WFP received early this year for the launch of a cash assistance programme.
While providing families with food items they can purchase and eat, cash and vouchers also boost the local economy, helping to stimulate markets by engaging traders that buy from local farmers and markets.
“The UK Government remains committed to working with WFP to meet the needs of vulnerable people in Darfur that are affected by food insecurity and displacement,” said Dr. Christopher Pycroft, Head of DFID in Sudan. “This contribution builds on previous funding, totalling over GBP 52 million since 2013, to the WFP cash and voucher programme in Sudan. DFID is committed to supporting more market-based approaches to meet humanitarian needs, enabling greater efficiencies in delivery and choice for beneficiaries to ensure assistance is better tailored to their needs.”
WFP first launched its voucher assistance programme in 2009 in central and eastern Sudan. The programme has since expanded to reach the Darfur region where it currently supports more than half a million food-insecure displaced people who purchase food from more than 180 local traders. Thanks to DFID support, WFP has also successfully introduced electronic voucher technology in Sudan, supporting over 30,000 displaced people in Darfur.
“We are grateful to the UK for its steadfast support in our efforts to promote food security and nutrition among the most vulnerable people in Sudan,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Matthew Hollingworth. “Through the provision of cash and voucher assistance, we can save lives and enable people to buy fresh produce, helping to develop local markets and boost the local economy.”
DFID is one of the largest donors to WFP in Sudan, having contributed GBP 62.7 million during the last five years toward relief programmes that assist conflict-affected and other vulnerable people in Sudan.
In 2016, WFP plans to provide life-saving food assistance to more than six million people in Sudan, as well as nutrition support and resilience-building activities to support communities to become self-reliant.