FEWS Southern Sudan Food Security Update: 18 Jul 2001
- Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southern Sudan are currently the most vulnerable group to food insecurity. While options for obtaining food exist in some of their new locations, conflict and insecur ity put these options out of reach in Bahr-el-Ghazal and Upper Nile Regions. Dependence of IDPs on food aid will remain high through the hunger period June-August/ September.
- Nutrition surveys and reports by NGOs indicate declining nutritional standards, especially in Bahr-el-Ghazal and Upper Nile Regions, mainly as a result of food scarcity. However, during June, NGOs noted a decrease in the number of beneficiaries, mostly children, in some of the feeding centers. Families deliberately withdrew their children from the feeding centers to free time for cultivating crops. While this will enable families to produce food to enhance their food security, it is also worrying as the nutrition situation of these children is still fragile and bound to deteriorate further.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/Livestock office reports that the Rinderpest-like outbreak in Gumruk (Pibor), Jonglei Region in May could not be confirmed, despite similar clinical manifestations. During June, another Rinderpest rumor was received from northeastern Kapoeta County in Eastern Equatoria, one of the areas where Rinderpest is endemic. Consequently, neighboring areas have been put on high alert, as Rinderpest remains a threat in southern Sudan. Control and eventual eradication of Rinderpest are high priority objective of the livestock program, in spite of the daunting difficulties of insecurity and inaccessibility.
- Despite the good rains to date and seemingly promising prospects for agricultural production in southern Sudan, the start of the season has been delayed in parts of Bahr-el-Ghazal and Upper Nile Regions as a result of insecurity. In central parts of Leech State (Thornyor), Upper Nile Region, cultivation had not yet begun by mid-June, despite input availability and favorable rains that began toward the end of May. This delay is likely to extend the hunger period in the affected areas.
- Heavier than normal rains were experienced during June in the eastern part of Western Equatoria, parts of Lakes and Jonglei Regions. Consequently, vegetation conditions continue to improve but are notably below the seasonal average in the western stretch of the country, central parts of Jonglei Region, and the pastoral areas of Kapoeta County. Poor vegetation conditions in the pastoral areas of Kapoeta County raise concern about the ability of the pastoralists to cope with a fourth consecutive year of drought. Rains normally subside in the area by June and unless there is a rare, unseasonable extension, vegetation conditions will decline further, negatively affecting livestock health and productivity.
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