South Sudan faced daunting humanitarian challenges during its first year as an independent country. Conflict along its borders and between communities, an influx of refugees and South Sudanese families returning from abroad, soaring food prices and poor harvests combined to exacerbate an already fragile situation.
The first thing new arrivals to refugee camps receive are high-energy biscuits for their children. Requiring no preparation, these foods can be eaten immediately providing children of refugees with a badly needed source of nutrition after their long journey to the camp.
WFP plans to provide food assistance to some 2.9 million people in South Sudan this year by distributing food directly as well as through nutrition programmes, school meals and by providing families with food while they work on community building projects.
Three children play on the back of a donkey at the refugee camp in Yida, South Sudan. In addition to general food rations, WFP is providing young children in Yida with highly fortified foods designed to treat and prevent malnutrition. WFP is also providing this specialized nutritional support to pregnant women and new mothers.
In addition to refugees from the border region, this year has seen a large number of South Sudanese return home from abroad, like this family in the northerwestern Bahr el Ghazal region. WFP provided food to some 60,000 returnees in May, including 12,000 people who were flown to Juba from Kosti just north of the border, where they had been stranded for over a year.
Many of South Sudan’s hungry live in isolated parts of the country which become completely cut off once the rains begin. WFP is using its logistical expertise to pre-position food as well as deliver medical kits, shelter items, fuel and other assistance on behalf of the humanitarian community.
29 July 2014 South Sudan: ‘Food Alone Is Not Enough’