JUBA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is cutting food rations for refugees and internally displaced people in the country due to significant funding gaps.
The rations which will be reduced this month will affect nearly 440,000 internally displaced in Bentiu, Bor, Juba, Malakal, Mingkaman and Wau as well as nearly 260,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Sudan.
Population will now receive 50 percent of a full ration, down from 70 percent. A full ration provides 2,100 kilocalories per person and 50 percent is 1,050 kilocalories.
“It is a very painful decision to take from the hungry to give to the starving, but this is the reality; because of the alarming rise of food insecurity in remote locations, WFP has to reduce the size of its rations in some communities, including refugees and internally displaced people, who are in a less precarious situation,” said Matthew Hollingworth, WFP Representative and Country Director in South Sudan.
WFP’s resources in South Sudan are stretched thin at a time when levels of food insecurity are at their highest in a decade and donors are grappling with the economic impact of COVID-19.
“We must try to save the lives of those likely to face famine during the lean season if they do not receive sufficient assistance. WFP simply does not have enough resources to provide full rations to all of those in South Sudan who rely on our assistance to survive,” said Hollingworth.
WFP required US$125 million for its food assistance operations for the next six months to provide food in sufficient quantities, including larger food rations for refugees and the displaced
“We know how hard it is for vulnerable people who struggle every day to survive and provide for their children. By introducing these reductions now, WFP is making sure that all refugees and displaced people will continue to receive our food assistance albeit in smaller quantities,” he added.