The funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will allow WFP to provide food and nutritional assistance to roughly 550,000 people across the country, including internally displaced people (IDPs), refugees, young students and extremely vulnerable host communities.
"With the increased violence and mounting hunger in Central African Republic, this significant contribution from USAID comes at a critical time," said WFP Country Director in C.A.R., Felix B.F. Gomez. "It will enable WFP to continue food distributions and scale up assistance to people newly displaced by the recent uptick of violence."
The US contribution will not only be used to support general food distributions, but also for WFP emergency school meals and early recovery efforts in areas that have stabilized, including projects that help smallholder farmers to recover and return to their fields.
The US support also comes at a moment when WFP operations in C.A.R. face a funding shortfall, forcing WFP to cut rations in some cases. At the same time, recent unrest has uprooted tens of thousands more people in a country where nearly half the population depends on humanitarian assistance to survive.
"For the vulnerable families that are taking the brunt of the suffering, this new US support is crucial to save lives and prevent vulnerable people from falling deeper into crisis," Gomez added.
In 2017, WFP plans to reach roughly 700,000 people in C.A.R. with food and nutritional assistance.