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South Sudan: WFP And UNHCR Heads Alarmed By Deepening Crisis

Two Agency Heads Listen

Alarmed at the impact of violence in South Sudan, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (l) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres (r) visited the African nation to meet the people affected by the conflict. In this photo they are listening to the stories of displaced people in Nyal, Unity State of South Sudan. 

Meeting the People in Nyal

To have a first-hand understanding of the humanitarian consequences of the crisis in South Sudan, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (c) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres (r), travelled to the remote town of Nyal, in Unity State, where both the local community and an estimated 25,000 IDPs have struggled to access food and and other basic necessities. 

Women in Nyal Talk

Women in the town of Nyal (Unity State) told the WFP chief that they need three thingss: peace, help to relieve their suffering and a chance for their children to go to school. 

Nyal Airdrop

While in Nyal the heads of agencies witnessed a WFP airdrop from the ground, followed by a WFP food distribution. The distribution is part of the inter-agency approach between UNICEF, FAO and WFP to provide a comprehensive package of assistance at once. 

Bags in the Air

WFP is using a combination of airdrops and airlifts to reach people in need of urgent assistance in places that are inaccessible by road due to insecurity. The WFP and UNHCR bosses expressed concern that a mix of insecurity and other direct impediments to humanitarian access may combine to leave far too many people cut off from assistance.

Nutritious Super Cereal in Nyal

WFP Executive Director talks to a mother who has just received a special nutritious food at a distribution in Nyal. The food supplement, called Super Cereal Plus, contains dairy protein which is vital for young children -- who are the ones most vulnerable to malnutrition.  

Sheltering in UN Compounds

Since conflict erupted last December, more than 1 million people have been uprooted from their homes, with about 254,000 fleeing to neighbouring countries and more than 800,000 displaced inside South Sudan. The internally displaced people include 68,000 who are sheltering in UN peacekeeping bases such as this one in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. 

Tongping IDP Juba

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin (L) enquires about the conditions of internally displaced people sheltering at a peacekeeping base in Juba. WFP and its partners started providing assistance to IDPs sheltering in UN bases in Juba on 22 December 2013.  

We want peace

Community leaders of people sheltering at a UN peacekeeping base in Juba told thevisiting heads of agencies that all they want is peace. The heads WFP and UNHCR used the opportunity of their visit to call on all parties to the conflict to spare no effort to bring about peace. 

Meeting President Kiir

The two agency chiefs discussed the crisis with President Salva Kiir (r) and other government officials, and received the President’s commitment to facilitate and support humanitarian assistance to all civilians.

The heads of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations refugee Agency (UNHCR) have warned that the crisis in South Sudan could endanger millions of lives.