Khartoum – The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Sudan has received a donation of EUR 2.5 million from the Government of Italy through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) to support emergency nutrition activities in Sudan. “We are extremely grateful to the Government of Italy for this contribution, especially at this time when humanitarian needs in Sudan are drastically increasing,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Eddie Rowe.
The contribution will enable WFP to provide specialized nutritious food to over 160,000 children underfive and pregnant and nursing women in crisis-affected areas to treat and prevent malnutrition. “As Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) donor convener, Italy is deeply committed in supporting projects to address the causes of food insecurity and malnutrition. In particular, ongoing conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic, hikes in food prices and inflation will drastically increase the number of malnourished children. We are glad to support WFP to prevent a massive malnutrition crisis for the children of Sudan ”said AICS Khartoum Director, Michele Morana.
Malnutrition is a major public health concern in Sudan. Around 13.6 percent of children are acutely malnourished (too thin for height) and 36 percent are stunted (too short for age), posing increased risks of morbidity and mortality for children under five. Malnutrition also has severe cognitive and development consequences for children later in life. “Every child deserves to grow up and live a healthy life free from hunger. WFP counts on the continued support from our donors to do all we can to give children a chance to develop and thrive, ”said Rowe.
Thanks to contributions from donors, WFP managed to scale up its nutrition response in 2021 and assisted 2.5 million people in Sudan, a significant increase from the 0.9 million reached in 2020. Based on this success, WFP plans to assist up to 2.7 million children and pregnant and nursing women this year, however severe funding shortfalls may jeopardize this plan.