JUBA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will suspend food assistance for more than 100,000 displaced people in parts of South Sudan for three months starting October as part of a prioritization exercise driven by funding shortages this year
While generous contributions from donors have enabled WFP to reach millions in need with lifesaving assistance, many vulnerable people living in crisis areas continue to suffer from the highest levels of food insecurity and cannot survive without sustained food assistance.
Starting October, 106,000 people displaced in camps in Wau, Juba and Bor South will not receive monthly food rations for the next three months and until the new year, when WFP will resume its monthly food assistance for internally displaced people in those camps from January to September 2022.
“Drastic times call for drastic measures. We are forced to take these painful decisions and stretch our limited resources to meet the critical needs of people who were on the brink of starvation and now risk slipping back into catastrophe if their access to food diminishes,” said Matthew Hollingworth, Representative and Country Director of WFP in South Sudan.
“If funding levels continue to drop, we may have no choice but to make further cuts as the needs of vulnerable communities continue to outpace available resources,” said Hollingworth. For the next four months, WFP requires an additional ? US$154 million to provide food assistance in sufficient quantities.
The three-month suspension is part of a broader reduction in food assistance that WFP announced in April across all camps. It affects 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people who now receive half the caloric contents of a WFP food ration. A full ration provides 2,100 kilocalories per person and includes cereals, pulses, vegetable oil and salt. Prior to implementing the cuts WFP and partners ran a campaign to prepare affected communities.
WFP is prioritizing its emergency, lifesaving food assistance in 10 hard-to-reach counties where people are in emergency or catastrophic levels of hunger including Pibor, Akobo, Tonj North, Tonj South, Tonj East, Aweil South, Bor South, Twic East, Duk and Ayod.
Mothers and children between six months and two years of age who live in camps will continue to receive nutrition assistance for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition.
Food insecurity in South Sudan has increased in the last few years and currently affects more than 60 percent of the country’s population.