As funding run out, WFP has to cut down on some of its food deliveries to South Sudan.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has discontinued part of its food distribution in South Sudan owing to a budget deficit, putting 1.7 million people in danger of hunger.
The decision to halt assistance would impact almost a third of the 6.2 million people in South Sudan that the World Food Programme had intended to support this year. It comes as global food costs skyrocket as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, forcing humanitarian organizations operating in Africa to deal with financing difficulties.
Climate change is further compounding the problem, with South Sudan experiencing catastrophic floods, localized drought, and man-made violence, which has left more than 60% of the population enduring acute famine.
“South Sudan is facing its hungriest year since independence,” Adeyinka Badejo-Sanogo, the World Food Programme’s interim country director in South Sudan, told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday. “We are already in a crisis, but we are attempting to keep things from becoming worse.”
Badejo-Sanogo, speaking from Juba, South Sudan’s capital, said the WFP urgently needs $426 million to address demands for the next six months and bring an “explosive situation” under control.
The World Food Programme claimed it had examined all possibilities before halting food aid, including cutting rations in 2021.
Following the suspension of food assistance, it hopes to reach 4.5 million South Sudanese in need, including 87,000 individuals who are currently facing famine-like circumstances.
The Norwegian Refugee Council named the country’s situation one of the world’s ten most ignored displacement crises, citing funding disparities between African nations and Ukrainian refugees.
It was emphasized that a humanitarian plea for Ukraine was almost entirely financed in only one day this March.
“The war in Ukraine has demonstrated the enormous gap between what is possible when the international community rallies behind a crisis and the daily reality for millions of people suffering in silence within these crises on the African continent that the world has chosen to ignore,” said Jan Egeland, the head of the aid organization.