As the latest Integrated Food Security Report (IPC) on South Sudan is released, World Vision reports that they have reached conflict areas in Upper Nile state to distribute food in an effort to stem the country’s growing food crisis.
“In Melut, a town that was almost completely razed and deserted in May, people are beginning to return despite a continuously strong military presence,” said Perry Mansfield, National Director, World Vision South Sudan.
In Kodok, World Vision targets children under five with a specialized feeding program in order to reduce the rates of malnutrition and in surrounding area has distributed food to many who had fled conflict in recent months.
"Since August, World Vision has distributed food to over 32,000 people in Melut and Kodok towns in Upper Nile. We are the only organisation addressing the food shortage in these areas."
“Since August, World Vision has distributed food to over 32,000 people in Melut and Kodok towns in Upper Nile. We are the only organisation addressing the food shortage in these areas,” said Mansfield. “We know that the most critical needs are food and water and we have been doing our best to meet these needs,” he added.
The IPC report states that, ‘South Sudan’s food and nutrition crisis could spread to beyond conflict-affected states’ and World Vision has evidence of this in other parts of South Sudan.
“It’s not only the conflict affected areas that we are concerned about. People we meet across the country are reporting less rain and late rain. Some say that their harvest will only last a few months. Even the Equatorian states, where food is usually abundant, South Sudanese are reporting alarmingly low harvests,” said Mansfield.
Awel Adang is a mother to six children and lives in Twic county in the Northeast of South Sudan. She told World Vision that last year, the conflict had prevented her from planting. This year, although she had planted a sorghum crop, the rain came late and wasn’t enough. “The sorghum will last three, maybe four months. After that, I don’t know what I will do,” she said.
“The harvest in South Sudan will be lean this year and we don’t know how long it will last,” said Manfield. “We have projects across a number of states that try to help people increase their crop yields so that they aren’t dependant on food aid, but the weather and the economic situation are huge setbacks for farmers who are trying to grow enough to feed their families,” he said.
World Vision’s Food Assistance Programs in South Sudan
World Vision is one of the largest partners of the World Food Program operating in areas of the country where there are acute food shortages. Their food assistance programs include general and targeting food distribution and voucher programs. In parts of the country not in conflict, World Vision operates long term development programs that help farmers the amount of food that they produce, particularly in Warrap and Western Equatoria States.