Sorghum, lentils and cooking oil from USAID is intended to help the WFP serve 1.8 million people in Darfur during the lean season. It will help over a half million Darfuri school children and about 262,000 more schoolkids in eastern and central Sudan. Dabanga reports that the United States has donated $626 million to the WFP in Sudan since 2011, more than any other donor.
From January 2014 to April 21, 2105, total donations and commitments to relief work in Sudan from the US government total $416,990,835, according to USAID’s “Sudan Complex Emergency Fact Sheet Number 3, Fiscal Year 2015 (page 6).” Not all of this is simply food given to aid work in Sudan. A lot of this money is spent on health needs, water sanitation and hygiene, logistics support, and humanitarian coordination and information management, and helping local markets become stronger. Here is a link to the Sudan fact sheet put out by USAID today:
It should also be mentioned that USAID created and leads the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET). In FEWS NET, the US Department of Agriculture, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Geological Survey work with USAID and two private partners. These groups also work with other governments and aid groups to keep track of potential food crises, including famines, in more than thirty-six countries. Here is a link to FEWS NET’s website:
FEWS NET currently says that people living in areas of fighting in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and the five Darfur states are in food crisis mode (see page 4 of the USAID fact sheet). This means that at least 20% of families have to do without food sometimes, and that there is abnormally high short-term malnutrition. It also means that families often can only get the food they need in unsustainable ways. And many people who cannot farm because of fighting and being attacked cannot be reached by aid groups: namely civilians in Darfur’s Jebel Mara and South Kordofans State’s Nuba Mountains areas. While FEWS NET is now saying that Sudan is on track to have a record cereal harvest this year, we must remember that fighting and attacks on civilians can make such a harvest useless to many innocent people.