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Marel partners with Red Cross to improve food security in South Sudan

Marel is donating US$1.1mn to the Red Cross, which will use the funds to improve the food security of the most vulnerable communities in South Sudan

In South Sudan, millions face food insecurity, increasing the risk of malnutrition, especially among children. “The support provided by Marel will help us strengthen our efforts to bolster the resilience of hundreds of thousands of families,” said Robert Mardini, director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Marel’s vision is of a world where quality food is sustainable and affordable. “Unfortunately, not everyone has access to food or other basic needs,” stated Arni Oddur Thordarson, CEO. “We feel a broader responsibility towards improving global food security. We are grateful to be able to contribute to sustainable development and better living conditions. We know that every meal counts, every contribution counts.”

The already fragile situation in South Sudan has been compounded in recent years, with reduced agricultural production due to conflict, armed violence and climate shocks, such as floods in 2019 and 2020. The reliability of food distribution has been hindered by ongoing fighting, tensions and competition over scarce resources. This year, The COVID-19 pandemic and severe inflation in food prices have further deteriorated the situation. The needs remain staggering, and half the population struggles to have enough food to eat.

The Red Cross’ focus on long-term food security in South Sudan, as well as the transparency of how the funds are distributed, influenced Marel’s decision to contribute to this particular initiative. The donation will provide support to the people in Sudan who need it most, to build communities’ self-sufficiency. The ICRC’s approach aims to decrease the dependency on aid via the distribution of seeds, farming tools and fishing kits, and the vaccination of cattle. The organisation also distributes food rations at crucial times, such as the ‘hunger gap’ before the harvest, to reduce the likelihood of people having to consume grain meant for planting.