The World Food Programme (WFP) has delivered lifesaving humanitarian assistance to ‘‘families trapped for four months by increased insecurity in and around the town of Yei, in South Sudan.’‘
A WFP statement noted that the multi-agency convoy comprised ‘‘38 trucks transporting one month of food rations including sorghum, yellow-split peas, and vegetable oil from WFP, water, sanitation and child protection items from the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) and shelter items from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).’‘
The supplies arrived in the town on Friday (November 04). “We have deployed a rapid response team to provide food to nearly 52,000 people who have been cut off from food supplies for four months,” said WFP South Sudan Country Director Joyce Luma.
The insecurity has also forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes for safety in neighbouring Uganda; estimates indicate that 295,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Uganda since July.
She further noted that even though Yei was a farming community, the lack of security following renewed violence in the capital Juba have forced people to ‘‘leave their crops to rot in the field while they remain hungry. We are bringing assistance now but we are advocating for free and safe movement so that people can cater for their own food needs,” she added.
‘‘The insecurity has also forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes for safety in neighbouring Uganda; estimates indicate that 295,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Uganda since July.
‘‘The current response in Yei comes after WFP provided 9,000 people with food at the end of October in the villages of Logwili and Loka West in Lainya County where people have also fled into bushes as a result of increased insecurity,’‘ the WFP statement added.
The UN agencies (WFP, UNICEF and UNHCR) made the deliveries with the support of donors including Canada, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Japan, Luxemburg, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, as well as several private donors.
WFP has provided food and nutrition assistance to 3.2 million people in South Sudan this year. The UN body has stated that about 4 million South Sudanese, a third of the population, are ‘‘severely food insecure.’‘
“Malnutrition has crossed the 15% emergency level” in 7 out of 10 states, with Unity and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states mostly affected, WFP spokeswoman Bettina Luescher told the Reuters news agency.