23 August 2013 The United Nations food relief agency today said it needs $84 million to extend its assistance to more than 2.8 million people in need in South Sudan.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is currently assisting 1.7 million people across the country, but noted that to expand its assistance to an estimated 2.8 million people in need without disrupting ongoing assistance programmes, additional funds are required.
Last month, the agency launched an emergency operation for Jonglei state, which included the use of helicopters to deliver aid. So far, WFP has distributed food to more than 30,000 people in the area and intends to provide food for up to 60,000 more by the end of the year.
WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva that assistance is also needed in Pibor due to the rainy seasons making areas inaccessible. WFP has already hired some helicopters for food distributions, but more are needed to reach some 60,000 people in need of food.
Global acute malnutrition among children under five years is at 11 per cent. However, the levels in Jonglei, Lakes, Unity and Warrap states are significantly higher, with general acute malnutrition rates ranging from 14 to 21 per cent, Ms. Byrs added.
According to the UN, more than 4 million people are affected by food insecurity in South Sudan, over 70,000 have been internally displaced since the beginning of the year, and the country currently hosts some 220,000 refugees, mostly from Sudan.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue