JUBA, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- The European Union said Tuesday it has donated 10.4 million U.S. dollars to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food aid to South Sudan as hunger persists in the East African country.
The funds will provide life-saving food and nutrition assistance to more than 700,000 vulnerable people, including displaced persons, children, malnourished pregnant and nursing women in the conflict-hit country, the EU and WFP said in a joint statement issued in Juba.
The latest funding brings the EU's contribution to the work of WFP in South Sudan to about 123.8 million in the past five years, according to the statement.
"Millions of people in South Sudan need food assistance. With this aid package, we are helping the most vulnerable, particularly women and children," said Christos Stylianides, EU's commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management.
WFP said South Sudan's food security situation remains dire with 4.5 million people needing food and nutrition support until the end of the year.
The number of people in need of food aid is projected to go up to 5.5 million people from January 2020 when food reserves got from subsistence farming start to deplete.
"Although the food security situation has slightly improved, there is an urgent need to continue providing life-saving support to people at risk of hunger. Food assistance saves lives and can help build communities' resilience to allow them to sustain themselves in the future," said Ute Klamert, WFP assistant executive director for partnerships and advocacy.