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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

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

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
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 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 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 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.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid