News / Africa

WFP Begins South Sudan Food Airdrops

A World Food Program airdrop over South Sudan in December 2011.
A World Food Program airdrop over South Sudan in December 2011.
Philip Aleu
The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has started airdropping food aid to remote areas of South Sudan that are unreachable because of insecurity "and other obstacles," including the onset of the rainy season, the U.N. agency said.

Enough cereals to feed about 8,000 displaced people for 15 days were airdropped on Tuesday to the town of Ganyiel in Unity state, WFP spokeswoman Challiss McDonough said.

More airdrops are planned for eight other locations that have been identified as being in urgent need of food assistance, McDonough said. All the sites are in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states, where fighting has continued, weeks after a cessation of hostilities agreement was signed in January.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people in critical need of food assistance and we have not been able to reach them by road or river, and there is no airport where airplanes can land," McDonough said.

"So we have to drop them by air," she said, adding that food assistance is being provided in both government and anti-government controlled areas.
Sacks of grain are pushed from a World Food Programme plane over Ganyiel in Unity state, South Sudan, on March 18, 2014.Sacks of grain are pushed from a World Food Programme plane over Ganyiel in Unity state, South Sudan, on March 18, 2014.
x
Sacks of grain are pushed from a World Food Programme plane over Ganyiel in Unity state, South Sudan, on March 18, 2014.
Sacks of grain are pushed from a World Food Programme plane over Ganyiel in Unity state, South Sudan, on March 18, 2014.


WFP Country Director Chris Nikoi said the agency has resorted to airdrops after it found itself faced with "more difficulties than envisioned," caused by the ongoing fighting in the three states, as well as border restrictions and other unspecified  "barriers to humanitarian access"  that have prevented the delivery of food aid.

"Given the level of the conflict, we have known for some time that we would have to move some food by air to some parts of the country, particularly during the rainy season," when much of South Sudan is inaccessible by road, Nikoi said.

But airdrops are one of the costliest ways of getting food to people in need, and are straining the WFP's resources, said McDonough.

WFP has so far provided food assistance and nutrition support to around 765,000 people in South Sudan since the crisis began in mid-December, and aims to scale up its assistance to support 2.5 million conflict-affected and food-insecure people in the young country over the coming months. 

WFP is also supporting a growing number of South Sudanese who have fled to neighboring countries to escape the fighting that is ongoing.

More than 210,000 refugees from South Sudan have arrived in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan since the crisis began, according to the U.N.

“We are concerned about reports of alarmingly high rates of malnutrition among children arriving at refugee camps in neighboring countries, particularly Ethiopia” said Valerie Guarnieri, WFP Regional Director for East & Central Africa.

“While we are working with partners to provide specialized nutritious foods for refugee children, the high levels of malnutrition are a sign that the humanitarian situation in inaccessible regions of South Sudan may be rapidly deteriorating,” she said.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
March 21, 2014 1:41 PM
Thank You (WFP)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid