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24 January 2011

Residents across Southern Sudan are in a jubilant mood after what appears to be a landslide vote to secede from the north and to create the world's newest country. There's one side effect of this month's weeklong referendum, though, that people are not cheering: higher prices. (..) The World Food Program expects prices to continue to rise, a situation that could lead to the need for more food aid.


24 January 2011

As vote tabulation nears an end in southern Sudan, preliminary results indicate voters are likely to choose overwhelmingly to separate from the rest of Sudan in order to form an independent state. (..) During a food distribution on a hot day in a Juba suburb, WFP Spokesman Peter Smerdon said returnees receive food supplements as they travel. "If they are stranded somewhere on the route, they can receive a 15-day ration from WFP," said Smerdon. "When they are traveling if they are on, say, the barges coming down [the] White Nile, they will receive high-energy biscuits because they can not cook food on board those barges because of the danger of fire."


20 January 2011

Growing signs of drought in the Horn of Africa could lead to food shortages in Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia, while rising food prices may put its budget under pressure, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Wednesday. "Certain regions that are prone to drought and weather variation are showing signs of cyclical food shortages," Sheila Sisulu, deputy executive director with the U.N. agency, told Reuters. "The Horn of Africa immediately comes to mind.


14 January 2011

Two rival ethnic groups involved in deadly clashes this week in Sudan's disputed oil-rich Abyei region have signed a deal to end the violence. The hostilities had threatened to overshadow the referendum on independence for the south.


13 January 2011

Feeling hungry? Maybe that’s because of all the news, from around the world, about food today — how much people produce, how much more they need, how much it’s going to cost, how much of an effect it will have on climate change, and vice versa. (..) There’s actually encouraging news on the food front from south Sudan, where citizens are voting now to become an independent nation. While much of Africa is under intense pressure to provide food for its people, the U.N. World Food Programme says south Sudan could become a food exporter and end its chronic food dependency within a decade. But immediately after the vote, this area is likely to need more food aid, according to the U.N.


13 January 2011

The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization and World Food Program warn recent gains in food security in Sudan could be reversed by increasing food prices and an escalation of localized conflict. The agencies say states bordering on northern Sudan, such as Upper Nile and Unity, are most vulnerable. (..) On a telephone line from the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, WFP Regional Director for Sudan Amer Daoudi, says the overall food security situation improved last year largely because of the favorable rains.


13 January 2011

Gripping a permit card, Julia Lako, 30, walked for two hours on Thursday to join a hundred-meter queue eager to receive food that could support her family for three months, once for all. (..) After showing the government-issued permit card to staff with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Lako got 121 kg of cereal, eight kg of vegetable oil, 2.7 kg of salt and 13.5 kg of pulse for herself, three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter.


13 January 2011

As voting in southern Sudan’s independence referendum enters its final days, relief officials say at least 1 million people will continue to need food assistance despite an improvement in food security over the past year. (..) WFP Spokesman Peter Smerdon said if the referendum and its aftermath go smoothly, the number of people in need is expected to peak at 1.4 million in the middle of this year. "The worst-case scenario is that the number will increase gradually from now until April or May or June, and we’ll see the number go as high as 2.7 million," said Smerdon. "But that is still lower than the 3 million people who needed assistance in 2010."


12 January 2011

The return of hundreds of thousands of south Sudanese in anticipation of independence for their homeland could reverse recent progress on food security in the region, UN agencies warned Wednesday. Rising food prices and a potential escalation of conflict in border areas could also threaten food supplies, the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a report.


12 January 2011

The number of people in South Sudan needing food aid is set to rise after an independence vote, depending on the security of food supplies and inflow of people returning to the South, the United Nations said. (..) In the best-case scenario of a peaceful referendum process, the number of people receiving emergency food aid would rise to 1.4 million during the lean season from March until August 2011, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said in a report on Wednesday.