U.S Mission to Uganda donates $3m to the United Nations World Food Program

The U.S. Mission to Uganda has announced a donation of $3 million to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in support of refugees in Uganda.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Office of Food for Peace (FFP), provided the funding to WFP on behalf of the American people.

The large and sudden influx of South Sudanese refugees—totaling more than 82,000 since July 1, 2016—has strained WFP’s existing resources. This contribution comes at a critical time and will ensure that new arrivals receive much needed food and lifesaving assistance.

U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac said, “The needs of the refugees in Uganda are extraordinary right now. I am proud that the U.S. government can provide support to help alleviate their suffering.”

Uganda currently hosts more than 620,000 refugees, mostly from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi. Roughly two-thirds of the refugees in Uganda depend on contributions from the United States through WFP to meet their basic food needs. The large number of new arrivals that continue to flow into Uganda has stretched the humanitarian response capacity and put great pressure on the reception centers and existing refugee settlements. Nevertheless, the relief response on the ground has been tremendous given the very challenging circumstances.

“I commend the excellent work of the humanitarian organizations responding to this intense emergency and applaud this dedication to meeting the needs of all refugees in Uganda,” said Mission Director Mark Meassick. “This response has been possible due to the progressive refugee policies of the Government of Uganda and the great work of the Office of the Prime Minister that has processed these refugees and allocated them land.”

This contribution to WFP will procure commodities that directly benefit local Ugandan farmers. Due to recent food aid reforms, Food for Peace is able to purchase commodities on the local market, helping both people in need as well as local businesses. The contribution is in line with the U. S. government’s food security initiative, Feed the Future, which aims to reduce hunger, poverty, and under nutrition in sustainable ways, and to ensure that all people at all times have access to sufficient food for healthy, productive lives.

This contribution brings USAID’s total support to WFP to an estimated $27.8 million in 2016.  This funding helps to assist refugees in Uganda as well as extremely vulnerable populations in Karamoja.