* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed two contributions from the government of Switzerland that will improve the poor nutritional status of children, pregnant women and nursing mothers in Sudan.
Switzerland is giving WFP Sudan a total of CHF 4.7 million (US$5.2 million) in two separate contributions including an in-kind donation of 600 metric tons of dried skimmed milk, valued at CHF 3.7 million (US$4.1 million), and a cash donation of CHF 1 million (US$1.1).
WFP will use the dried skimmed milk in its nutritional programme to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition and chronic undernutrition among children aged 6 to 35 months old as well as for pregnant and nursing mothers. This in-kind contribution will provide support for 250,000 mothers and children with nutrient-dense food rations for four months.
The cash contribution will be used to support WFP's voucher programme in Kassala State in East Sudan.
"We are very grateful to the Swiss government and citizens for this contribution which proves their strong commitment to assisting the most vulnerable Sudanese people, said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Adnan Khan.
Switzerland is currently WFP Sudan's third largest bilateral donor in 2014. Over the last five years, the Swiss government has contributed more than US$31 million to WFP's Emergency Operation in Sudan, in addition to US$685,000 for the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which is managed by WFP and provides its air services to the humanitarian community.
"Switzerland is fully committed to contribute to meet the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable in Sudan. Strengthening food security and livelihoods is one of our three strategic goals in the country. That's why we're very pleased to have a strong partnership with WFP in Sudan", said Martin Strub, the Government of Switzerland's Ambassador to Sudan.
Sudan remains one of WFP's largest and most complex operations, providing food assistance to people suffering from conflict, displacement and chronic under-nourishment in Darfur, as well as in the east and border areas to the south.
In 2014, WFP plans to assist 4 million people across Sudan, 3 million of whom are in the conflict-affected region of Darfur through general food distributions, food for training, food for work, school feeding and nutrition programmes to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition among women and children.
# # #
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. On average, WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries each year.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media and @wfp_africa
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org): Amor Almagro, WFP/Khartoum, Tel. +249 183248001 (ext. 2114), Mob. +249 912174853 Abdulaziz Abdulmomin, WFP/Khartoum, Tel. +249 183248001 (ext. 2123), Mob. +249 912167055