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US government donates bulk vegetable oil to WFP in East Africa

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has received a donation of 240 mt of vegetable oil worth over US$500,000 from the US government through its Agency for International Development (USAID), to support refugees in Uganda and South Sudan

“This donation is important not only for the value of the food going to refugees, but also represents a different way of packaging and delivery, as we try to reduce wastage en route and reduce WFP’s carbon footprint,” said Michael Dunford, regional director for WFP.

Shipments in bulk provide cost efficiencies by reducing transit damages and allowing packaging in sizes suited to given contexts, such as a refugee camp. The oil shipment will be transported from the USA to Mombasa in 12 shipping containers fitted with flexi-tanks. From there, WFP’s Kenyan Country Office will transfer the oil to Kampala where it will be packaged into 900ml bottles for onward delivery to support aid operations in South Sudan.

“We’re grateful for the generosity and consistency of the US government,” added Dunford. “East Africa is on the frontline of climate change, and floods in South Sudan have uprooted the lives of millions of impoverished farmers and townspeople. The aid pipeline provides help where none would otherwise exist.”

“We are creating economic impact in Uganda by outsourcing packaging to a local supplier as opposed to importing it already packaged. If scaled up, it will be economically beneficial to Ugandans as they will earn money through this local processing arrangement,” said Barbara Vanlogchem, regional logistics officer for WFP.