September 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has appointed Matthew Hollingworth as its new Sudan director.
- WFP’s new Sudan Director Mathew Hollingworth (UN photo)
“I am very excited to return to Sudan at a time when WFP is broadening its focus and introducing innovative ways to promote food security and self-reliance among the people who have been receiving our assistance for many years,” said Hollingworth.
“I consider it an honour and a privilege to be leading the team involved with serving the most vulnerable people in Sudan,” he added.
According to the agency, Hollingworth has worked for WFP in several countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria for more than 15 years.
Most recently in Syria, it said, Hollingworth led WFP operations and negotiated the delivery of much-needed food assistance to conflict-affected people, particularly in besieged areas.
Hollingworth, WFP further stated, has also held one of the top offices in the region serving as Deputy Regional Director for the WFP Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. He was in Sudan on short missions in 2005 and 2009, and provided logistical support for WFP emergency response in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.
In July 2015, WFP launched a two-year plan in Sudan which aims to reach 5.2 million people with life-saving food assistance, nutrition support as well as recovery and resilience-building activities to support communities to become self-reliant.
New displacements created by fighting in Darfur’s Jebel Marra area, the continued influx of South Sudanese refugees and the ongoing impact of El Niño have reportedly created greater needs among the most vulnerable in Sudan.
“In response, WFP has increased its budget in Sudan from US$693 million to US$721 million to cover the needs of an additional 900,000 people until June 2017,” the agency said.
Meanwhile, WFP says it plans to assist 4.6 million vulnerable people in Sudan through a mix of activities which include general food distribution, school feeding, nutrition programmes and food assistance for assets and training this year alone.