WFP issues urgent appeal for funds to airdrop emergency aid
The airdrops will be part of a US$65.8 million operation starting today to deliver 83,000 tons of food to a total of 2.48 million Sudanese, mainly in southern Sudan over the next 12 months.
WFP said the situation is extremely serious in southern Sudan where the combined effects of insecurity, drought and floods have caused widespread crop failure. Up to 200,000 people in northern Sudan also need aid because of chronic shortages due to drought.
Food deficits of 30 to 60 percent are expected in Bahr el Ghazal and Eastern Equatorial in southern Sudan, South Kordofan and North Darfur in northern Sudan and displaced persons camps around Wau in the south and the capital Khartoum.
The long civil war and repeated restrictions of access and aircraft clearances in the past few months by authorities have hampered attempts to reach the hungry, WFP said.
The Bahr el Ghazal area, scene of escalating conflict, is hardest hit. WFP is intensifying its efforts to deliver assistance to malnourished displaced people in the area.
The Government of Sudan, which had restricted aid flights to locations in Bahr el Ghazal, has now authorized airdrops in any area within province and recently given WFP permission to use a second C-130 aircraft.
With the situation worsening, WFP is concerned that with only two C-130s operational it may not be able to avert a famine among people who already are starving. It is expecting permission shortly to bring in three more cargo planes.
The programme is forced to rely on airdrops to reach the hungry in much of southern Sudan because of insecurity on the ground. As well, roads are impassable during the rainy season, and low water levels prevent barge deliveries when rains are inadequate.
The new operation will assist 580,000 displaced people in camps around urban areas and 1.9 million displaced and drought affected people in rural areas and villages. These include severely malnourished children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and people suffering from tuberculosis and other diseases.
WFP, the food aid arm of the United Nations, provided 362,237 metric tonnes of relief food to an estimated 4.7 million victims of war and drought in Sudan in four earlier emergency operations beginning in 1992. It works in southern Sudan under the auspices of Operation Lifeline Sudan.
For further information please contact:
Tel. +39-6 6513-2602
Information Officer, WFP/New York
Tel. +1-212 963-5196
Information Officer, WFP/Geneva
Tel. +41-22 979-9564
Information Officer, WFP/Nairobi
Tel. +254-2 622336