With food insecurity rising after last year’s poor harvest, the World Food Programme (WFP) almost doubled its delivery of rations to Upper Nile State from 16,000 to 27,000 metric tons on 1 March, according to a UN official.
The agency allocated 70 per cent of the tonnage to general food distribution and 30 per cent to returnees/refugees and other micro projects, said UNMIS Return, Recovery, Reintegration Officer (RRR) Tito Awando.
“In case of emergency, WFP will do contingency stocks, which can be accessed easily when required,” added the RRR officer, who also acts as focal point for an integrated team addressing humanitarian needs in the state.
The WFP distributed rations based on census figures to a total of 858,869 individuals in all Upper Nile counties except Renk, which has a food surplus, Mr. Awando said. The main beneficiaries were the elderly, lactating mothers, terminally ill and disabled heads of families.
Based on the 2009/2010 South Sudan Annual Food Security and Livelihood Assessment (ANLA), food security in the region has further deteriorated as a result of drought and insecurity.
Some 4.5 million people or 70 per cent of households are currently food insecure in Southern Sudan, compared to 40 per cent last year, according to the ANLA report.