Both of WFP’s warehouses in Malakal have been looted. The loss of the agency’s entire food stock in the city has greatly complicated WFP’s response to the crisis. In this photo, WFP Assistant Executive Director Ramiro Lopes da Silva surveys the damage at the main warehouse.
The WFP office was also ransacked, with many computers and other gear stolen. The safe was dragged into the hallway, shot with a gun and then pried open – which clearly took a great deal of effort, but the looters will have been disappointed to find no cash stored inside, only documents.
Malakal’s marketplaces have been almost completely destroyed, with most shops looted or burned. Many people have fled the town, and with the destruction of the marketplaces there is practically nowhere left for the remaining residents to buy food or other supplies.
“It’s terrible, terrible,” said this woman, who had taken shelter at Malakal’s main hospital along with her family. The hospital grounds were at one point so overflowing with people that it was impossible to walk through some areas because of the crowding. But in recent days many people had left the hospital for other sanctuaries.
Despite the looting of all of WFP’s food stocks in Malakal, the agency’s hardworking team has managed to continue food distributions to the estimated 27,000 people who have sought shelter at the UNMISS peacekeeping base in the city. This woman wasted no time in cooking a meal for her family on distribution day last week.
A woman walks back to her family’s shelter carrying her family’s ration of food. WFP distributed a week’s worth of rations to displaced people at the UNMISS base in Malakal, while working to bring more food to the city to replace the looted stocks.
Meanwhile, an estimated 45,000 people (or more) from Malakal have fled across the White Nile river in small boats to reach the fishing village of Wau Shilluk, or other nearby communities that have remained largely untouched by violence. Little humanitarian assistance has reached these communities yet.
A WFP helicopter arrived at the end of January with high-energy biscuits. This ready-to-eat emergency food provides nutrition to the most vulnerable IDPs while WFP works to bring more food from Juba, since the food stocks across the river in Malakal have all been looted.
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