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UN relief agency welcomes €30 million European grant for Darfur

UN relief agency welcomes €30 million European grant for Darfur

The United Nations food relief agency today welcomed a €30 million donation from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), to help feed over 2 million people in the violence-torn Darfur region of Sudan.

Kenro Oshidari, Sudan Representative UN World Food Programme (WFP) said this latest donation will help the agency “to purchase and pre-position food assistance in Darfur before the rainy season, which is about to start and will last until October."

Needs are expected to rise in Sudan, according to WFP, which estimates that while 2 million people now depend on its assistance, as many as 800,000 more may require food aid during the ‘hunger gap’ before this year’s harvest, which normally starts in October.

Besides helping to feed those people, the European grant will also help WFP achieve its aim of purchasing food in ways that benefit local markets and farmers, according to the agency.

In that light, it anticipates that 32,000 metric tons of food will include more than 15,000 tons of locally-produced sorghum, 2,230 tons of local salt and 4,000 tons of beans purchased regionally.

In all of Sudan, which is also recovering from a civil war in its southern region and hosts refugees in other areas, WFP’s emergency operation is targeting food aid for 5.5 million people, at a cost of $685 million, 74 percent which has been received.