Marel partners with Red Cross to improve food security


Marel is donating €1,000,000 to the Red Cross who 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. “After years of conflict, the scars left by war and violence on South Sudan’s communities are deep. The needs remain staggering and half the population struggles to have enough food to eat. The support provided by Marel and the Icelandic Red Cross will help us strengthen our efforts to bolster the resilience of hundreds of thousands of families,” says 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. “Our vision and purpose is clear,” explains Arni Oddur Thordarson, CEO. “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.

“We are grateful to be able to contribute to sustainable development and better living conditions,” says Thordarson. “We know that every meal counts, every contribution counts.” 


Credit: ICRC

Food security in South Sudan today

The International Committee of the Red Cross has been providing humanitarian aid to the region for more than 40 years, since before South Sudan became independent and was still a part of Sudan. The already fragile situation 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 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 and contributes to a hunger crisis in which the need for support for the people in South Sudan has never been higher.

Kristin S. Hjalmtysdottir, Director of the Icelandic Red Cross, says the organization is extremely grateful for this generous donation: “Marel’s support enables us to help hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihood and food security have been severely affected in recent years, in addition to suffering other ill effects of the armed conflict.”


Credit: ICRC / Florian Seriex

Long-term impact

The donation of €1,000,000 will provide support to the people in Sudan who need it most, with the aim of building 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 organization 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.

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.

For more information, please contact:

Audbjorg Olafsdottir, Global Director of Communications, Marel


Brynhildur Bolladottir, Information officer, Red Cross in Iceland

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