WFP responds to growing needs among tens of thousands affected by conflict in S. Sudan
JUBA, South Sudan, January 31, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has scaled up food assistance to reach 80,000 people affected by the recent escalation of inter-communal violence in Jonglei State, in the eastern part of South Sudan.
“The violence in Jonglei is only one of the many challenges that South Sudan is currently facing, and the world must respond to ensure that the people of this new nation have the support they need to build a peaceful and prosperous country,” said WFP Deputy Executive Director, Ramiro Lopes da Silva, on a visit to the region. “Many of the women I met in Pibor and Akobo had lost their children and had no one to depend on but the humanitarian agencies on the ground.”
WFP's response includes:
• WFP has rapidly scaled up its food assistance to more than 80,000 people in ten locations affected by the inter-communal violence since it peaked in Jonglei earlier this month.
• WFP is providing a 15-day emergency food ration to all people verified as displaced and affected by the attacks. WFP is conducting a thorough assessment to determine the food security situation.
• WFP is using its logistics expertise to help other humanitarian agencies overcome the intense logistical challenges in establishing a critical humanitarian lifeline for the affected population. As the lead agency of the logistics effort, WFP has deployed three helicopters, an aeroplane and 28 trucks to deliver not just food but shelter items, medical supplies and other assistance on behalf of the entire humanitarian community, to the remotest, most inaccessible corners of Jonglei.
• WFP is aiming to bring in large quantities of food by truck before the rain starts in March, when 90 percent of the locations targeted for food assistance will become inaccessible by road.
• While many of those who had been displaced are now returning home, they will continue to require support as they confront immense challenges, including destroyed homes and an absence of basic social services.
• With four months to the next food production season, WFP is working with partners on activities that will help affected households cultivate their own crops in time for the next harvest in August.
• WFP has reached 10 locations in Jonglei: five locations in Pibor county, including Pibor town and surrounding villages, Lekuangole, Gumruk, Labrab and Boma; and to five of the more recently affected locations in the northern parts of the state. Initial emergency food assistance has been provided in Duk Padiet, while distributions are ongoing in Akobo and Walgak, Yuai in Urur county and Waat in Nyirol county.