May 6, 2014, Vienna, Austria. The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved a US$500,000 grant in humanitarian aid to help provide food assistance to conflict-affected people from South Sudan, who are fleeing the country to seek refuge in neighboring countries Ethiopia, Kenya, the Sudan and Uganda. The grant will be channelled through the World Food Program (WFP), which is presently transporting supplies to the hardest-hit communities.
The internal conflict in South Sudan has created long-term humanitarian consequences for the population concerned, including massive displacement. According to the latest estimates from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, an estimated 959,000 people are internally displaced in South Sudan, with a further 293,000 seeking refuge in nearby countries.
The WFP has launched emergency operations to help meet the food needs of the most highly-affected populations, with a particular focus on the Lakes States and the Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity States of South Sudan. The WFP is in contact with local authorities and UN agencies, as well as local and international NGOs to coordinate the humanitarian response and help host countries strengthen their capacity to accommodate the influx of refugees.
OFID and the Sudan have been partners in development since the institution’s inception in 1976, having provided public sector loans in support of the country’s agriculture, energy and transportation sectors, as well as balance of payments support. In addition, OFID has been active in financing private sector and trade activities in the Sudan. OFID has also extended 48 regional and national grants that provided emergency aid, supported agricultural research and eradication programs for HIV/AIDS, polio and various tropical diseases, and as well as initiatives aimed at strengthening the country’s education, energy, health and water supply and sanitation sectors.