JUBA -- The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says that recent fighting at South Sudan's northern border is threatening to push more people of the region into hunger.
“The food security situation in the border states was already precarious,” said WFP South Sudan Country Director Chris Nikoi. “Now the border clashes threaten to displace more people and disrupt already fragile livelihoods.”
WFP is assisting a growing number of people affected by conflict in the border region. Activities include:
• In the past week, WFP has assisted around 2,000 newly arrived refugees arriving at Yida in Unity State, and distributions are ongoing daily. Working with partners, WFP has been providing high-energy, fortified food bars to new arrivals. New arrivals receive a 15-day ration, then on registration the refugees receive full monthly rations according to the size of their families. Since the beginning of the month of April, WFP has fed about 20,000 refugees in Yida.
• WFP is pre-positioning food as the rainy season begins and most roads become impassable. In Upper Nile and Unity States, WFP has prepositioned 14,000 metric tons of food, enough for 140,000 people for six months.
• WFP is using its logistical expertise to help other humanitarian agencies overcome the challenges of establishing a humanitarian lifeline for the affected population. WFP has deployed trucks and two helicopters to deliver not just food but medical kits, shelter items, fuel and other assistance on behalf of the humanitarian community, to the remotest corners along South Sudan’s northern border. WFP recently transported people injured in the fighting to areas where they could access medical assistance.
• WFP has increased storage capacity in the border states for food and other items and has prepositioned mobile storage units in strategic locations to further increase the capacity if needed.
Additional WFP assistance includes:
• Support to returnees – who have come back home to South Sudan from Sudan or elsewhere. Many more are expected to return this year.
• Children under 5, pregnant women and nursing mothers who are suffering from, or vulnerable to, malnutrition.
• Vulnerable and severely food-insecure families especially in rural areas. WFP supports these through school meals and asset-creation projects.
In total, WFP plans to reach 2.7 million people in South Sudan this year under an Emergency Operation covering the border region and other areas.
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