WFP working to reach conflict-affected people in Jonglei
31 January 2012 – The World Food Programme (WFP) has scaled up food assistance to reach 80,000 people affected by the recent escalation of inter-communal violence in Jonglei State, in the eastern part of South Sudan.
"The violence in Jonglei is only one of the many challenges that South Sudan is currently facing, and the world must respond to ensure that the people of this new nation have the support they need to build a peaceful and prosperous country," said WFP Deputy Executive Director Ramiro Lopes da Silva, on a visit to the region.
WFP's response includes rapidly increasing food aid to more than 80,000 people in 10 locations affected by inter-communal violence since it peaked in Jonglei earlier this month. It is also providing a 15-day emergency food ration to all people verified as displaced and affected by the attacks.
"Many of the women I met in Pibor and Akobo had lost their children and had no one to depend on but the humanitarian agencies on the ground," Mr. da Silva said.
The UN agency is helping other humanitarian agencies overcome intense logistical challenges in setting up a critical lifeline for the affected population. It has deployed three helicopters, an aeroplane and 28 trucks to deliver food as well as shelter items, medical supplies and other to the remotest, most inaccessible corners of Jonglei.
WFP is aiming to bring in large quantities of food by truck before the rain starts in March, when 90 per cent of areas targeted for assistance will become inaccessible by road. While many of the displaced are now returning home, they will continue to need support as they confront immense challenges, including destroyed homes and an absence of basic social services.
With four months to the next food production season, WFP is working with partners on activities that will help affected households cultivate their own crops in time for the next harvest in August.
The agency has reached 10 locations in Jonglei -- five in Pibor county, including Pibor town and the surrounding villages of Lekuangole, Gumruk, Labrab and Boma, and five of the more recently affected locations in northern parts of the state. Initial emergency food assistance has been provided in Duk Padiet, while distributions are ongoing in Akobo and Walgak, Yuai in Urur county and Waat in Nyirol county.