South SudanMarel is donating €1m to the Red Cross for food security in South Sudan. Photo: ICRC/Florian Seriex

Marel is donating €1m to the Icelandic Red Cross so the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) can 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. Marel said its vision is of a world where quality food is sustainable and affordable.

“Our vision and purpose is clear,” explained Arni Oddur Thordarson, CEO of Marel. “Unfortunately, not everyone has access to food or other basic needs, and we feel a broader responsibility towards improving global food security.

“This partnership with the Red Cross is in line with our focused approach to charitable activities, as well as our focus on contributing towards the UN sustainable development goals.” This partnership contributes towards two of these goals: To end hunger and to strengthen global partnership for sustainable development.”

Conflict complications

South Sudan faces 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 has added additional challenges in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including seeds and farming tools. Severe inflation in food prices has also adversely affected the situation.

The donation will provide support to the people in Sudan who need it most, with the aim of building communities’ self-sufficiency aid via the distribution of seeds, farming tools and fishing kits, and the vaccination of cattle.

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