Hungry South Sudanese cry foul as deadline to stop food distribution looms

By Tapeng Michael

Hungry people living in displaced settlements in South Sudan are worried as the date to stop distribution of food to them looms.

The United Nations World Food Program, the main food aid provider in the African nation said it would stop distribution for three months beginning October citing lack of enough donor funding.

WFP said it will completely stop providing the food for 106,000 Internally Displaced People in former United Nations bases in Juba, Wau and Bor.

In other places, rations have already been reduced drastically.

“We want WFP to continue food distribution to us, and if WFP says it can no longer give us food, let them get for us land for cultivation within the nearby proximity at the Juba POC,” a community leader at the IDP settlement, Bidi Ruot Gai told Juba Echo.

According to Gai, a petition to the UN has already been written.

He said another for South Sudanese President Salva Kiir will be written too.

“This is a concern to everyone in the camp, and mostly it affects the youth in one way or another because if there is no food, there is no water, the sanitation is not good, there will be a lot of problems that will come with it,” Gai said.

“As we speak now, there are a lot of theft and rape cases outside the camp and this comes as a result of our girls and mothers fetching water from outside.”

According to WFP, food distribution will only be resumed in January.

The UN agency though said mothers, and children between six months and two years of age who live in the IDP camps will continue to receive nutrition assistance for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition.

An unprecedented 7.24 million South Sudanese are going hungry, according to aid agencies, pushed to the brink by effects of war, desert locust and COVID-19.

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