New York [US], September 14 (ANI): The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday that beginning next month, funding shortages will force it to suspend life-saving food assistance for more than 100,000 displaced people in parts of South Sudan until the start of 2022.
"Drastic times call for drastic measures. We are forced to take these painful decisions and stretch our limited resources to meet the critical needs of people who were on the brink of starvation and now risk slipping back into catastrophe, if their access to food diminishes", said Matthew Hollingworth, Representative and Country Director of WFP in South Sudan.
While generous contributions from donors have enabled WFP to assist millions, many vulnerable people in crisis areas continue to suffer from the highest levels of food insecurity and cannot survive without sustained food assistance.
Starting in October, 106,000 people displaced in camps in Wau, Juba and Bor South, will not receive monthly food rations for the rest of the year.
For the next four months, WFP requires an additional $154 million to provide sufficient quantities of food assistance.
"If funding levels continue to drop, we may have no choice but to make further cuts as the needs of vulnerable communities continue to outpace available resources", said Hollingworth.
Over the last few years, food insecurity has continued to increase, currently affecting more than 60 per cent of South Sudan, according to WFP.
The three-month suspension is part of a broader food assistance reduction across all camps that was announced in April, whereby 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people currently receive only half the caloric contents of a WFP food ration.
Prior to implementing the cuts, WFP and partners ran a campaign to prepare those communities affected.
The world's youngest nation has been mired in instability and conflict since gaining independence from Sudan 10 years ago.
In 2018 President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President and long-time political rival Riek Machar, signed a peace accord hoping to end the crisis and improve the lives and safety of millions of South Sudanese. (ANI)