September 13, 2021 (JUBA) – The World Food Programme (WFP) will suspend food assistance for more than 100,000 displaced people in parts of South Sudan for three months as part of a prioritization exercise driven by funding shortages this year.
- A group of women poses for a photo after receiving food ration at Ulang County, in Upper Nile State (Photo: WFP/ Gabriela Vivacqua)
The agency said while generous contributions from donors have enabled it 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,” he added.
WFP further said it requires an additional $154 million to provide food assistance in sufficient quantities for the next four months.
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.
According to the United Nations, food insecurity in South Sudan has increased in the last few years and currently affects over 60 percent of the country’s population.