David Lane, the United States Ambassador to the UN Agencies in Rome, is accompanying Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), on a three-day trip to South Sudan.
They are visiting to get an update on the troubling food security situation and to raise awareness of the plight of civilians affected by the conflict since 2013.
The conflict has displaced 2 million people, disrupted livelihoods and sharply worsened levels of hunger and malnutrition. An estimated 2.5 million people face acute hunger in the country. WFP fears that food insecurity will only get worse as we approach the lean season without an end to the conflict in sight.
Over the next three days, the WFP Executive Director and Ambassador Lane will meet with humanitarian partners and visit communities threatened by acute hunger.
With the continued support of the United States and other donors, the WFP aims to assist 3 million people in South Sudan this year, by providing life-saving emergency assistance for the conflict-affected, nutrition support for mothers and children, food assistance for refugees, school meals, and asset-creation initiatives aimed at helping communities improve their food security and resilience.
Since the conflict began, the Government of the United States has provided nearly $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to help the people of South Sudan.