A Year in South Sudan
South Sudan faced daunting humanitarian challenges during its first year as an independent country. Conflict along its borders and between communities, an influx of refugees and South Sudanese families returning from abroad, soaring food prices and poor harvests combined to exacerbate an already fragile situation.
Violence along the border with Sudan has forced thousands of people, like this woman and her child, to flee across the border into South Sudan. WFP assisted more than 160,000 refugees in the month of May alone.
Most refugees from Sudan are children who arrive at camps along the border exhausted and hungry.
The first thing new arrivals to refugee camps receive are high-energy biscuits for their children. Requiring no preparation, these foods can be eaten immediately providing children of refugees with a badly needed source of nutrition after their long journey to the camp.
Refugees from Sudan are given ration cards which they can use to collect monthly food distributions for their families and special nutrition products for small children.
WFP plans to provide food assistance to some 2.9 million people in South Sudan this year by distributing food directly as well as through nutrition programmes, school meals and by providing families with food while they work on community building projects.
A recent food security assessment showed the child malnutrition rates exceed emergency levels in four states in South Sudan. WFP nutrition programmes are targeting more than 600,000 mothers and small children across the country.
Three children play on the back of a donkey at the refugee camp in Yida, South Sudan. In addition to general food rations, WFP is providing young children in Yida with highly fortified foods designed to treat and prevent malnutrition. WFP is also providing this specialized nutritional support to pregnant women and new mothers.
Providing school meals to children like these in the northwestern Bahr el Ghazal region not only provides them with the vitamins and nutrients they need to be healthy, but gives them an added reason to keep coming to school.
In addition to refugees from the border region, this year has seen a large number of South Sudanese return home from abroad, like this family in the northerwestern Bahr el Ghazal region. WFP provided food to some 60,000 returnees in May, including 12,000 people who were flown to Juba from Kosti just north of the border, where they had been stranded for over a year.
Many of South Sudan’s hungry live in isolated parts of the country which become completely cut off once the rains begin. WFP is using its logistical expertise to pre-position food as well as deliver medical kits, shelter items, fuel and other assistance on behalf of the humanitarian community.
South Sudan faced daunting humanitarian challenges during its first year as an independent country. Violence along the border with Sudan has forced thousands of people to flee across the border into South Sudan. WFP assisted more than 160,000 refugees in the month of May alone. WFP plans to provide food assistance to some 2.9 million people in South Sudan this year.